This version of Haydn's Philemon und Baucis was created for Christopher Leith's Little Angel Theatre production presented at the 2003 Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt. Philemon und Baucis, oder Jupiters reise auf die Erde was originally performed in September 1773 during a three-day state visit by the Empress Maria Theresa, an event that was well documented at the time. Haydn's biographer Georg August Griesinger reports that during this period Haydn shot three hazel hens, which the Empress subsequently ate. The whole occasion must have been splendid. Philemon und Baucis was performed in the new theatre on successive days, and the final performance was rounded off by an epilogue in honour of Her Majesty and the Habsburg family, at the end of which the back of the theatre opened out onto the gardens to reveal a magnificent firework display. This epilogue was later discarded when the work was made into a Singspiel, whose two parts consisted of a prologue, Der Götterat, and the main drama, Philemon und Baucis.
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