MUSIC AT THE COURT THEATRE OF DUKE FREDERICK AUGUSTUS OF BRUNSWICK AT OELS (Muzyka w teatrze dworskim ksiecia Fryderyka Augusta brunszwickiego w Olesnicy)
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The court theatre at Oels (today Olesnica), founded by Duke Frederick Augustus of Brunswick and built in 1793 according to Berlin models, was one of the few examples of private theatrical activity in Silesia. Initially, weekly performances at the theatre were given by the theatrical troupe of Maria Karolina Wäser from Wroclaw. 1794 saw the creation of a permanent company of singers and actors under the direction of Franz Joseph Alexi, who worked with the court orchestra conducted by Adolph Friedrich Metke. Collaboration with Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf had great significance for the court theatre at Oels. The musician composed altogether ten operas, singspiels and occasional works for the needs of the theatre. Most of the first performances of these works were conducted by the composer himself, who stayed at Oels on three occasions. During the eight years of the court theatre's existence about 70 operas and singspiels by composers popular at the time were performed, often on numerous occasions. They included works by W. A. Mozart, J. Haydn, D. Cimarosa, G. Paisiello, A. Salieri, F. X. Süssmayr, W. Müller, P. Winter, J. A. Benda, A. E. M. Grétry, N. M. Dalayrac, P. Anfossi and many others. The court theatre also organised celebrations of the most important holidays and ceremonies, as well as vocal-instrumental concerts. The activities of the ensemble of singers and actors were suspended at the beginning of 1802, and the theatre was officially closed three years later, on the death of Duke Frederick Augustus.
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