Karl Goldmark – The Queen of Sheba (Opera in four acts)
(b. Keszthely, 18 May 1830 —
d. Vienna, 2 January 1915)
Karl Goldmark, one of 20 children and son of a Jewish cantor, was born in Hungary but primarily worked in Vienna. Although he attended a variety of schools in Vienna and Hungary, Goldmark claimed to be largely self-taught. Early in his career, Goldmark wrote music reviews for the Österreichische Constitutionelle Zeitung. Despite Richard Wagner’s anti-Semitism, Goldmark championed Wagner’s work in his reviews, and later as one of the founding members of the Akademischer Wagnerverein in Vienna in 1872. Unlike many other Viennese critics of the time, Goldmark promoted Johannes Brahms’ works alongside Wagner’s operas, and maintained a professional friendship with Brahms. Goldmark made a name for himself as a composer in Vienna with Die Königin von Saba, but also gained respect with his violin concerto op. 28 and program symphony, the Ländliche Hochzeit. He circulated among the musical elite in Vienna, earned multiple international awards and maintained a successful career until his death in Vienna in 1915.
Die Königin von Saba
Inspired to compose Die Königin von Saba by his piano pupil and opera singer, the mezzo-soprano Caroline Bettelheim, Goldmark asked the writer Salomon von Mosenthal to create the libretto in 1863. A suitable libretto arrived in 1865, but the composition remained incomplete until 1871 and did not premiere until 10 March 1875 at the Vienna Hofoperntheater. Although it took Goldmark a long time to get the opera produced, the premiere was relatively successful and Die Königin von Saba played regularly in international houses until well into the 20th century. In fact, the opera was a season staple in Vienna from the first production up to the Anschluss in 1938. Rather than disappearing completely from the repertoire after World War II, however, productions of Die Königin von Saba still occasionally resurface in the major houses. ..
Full preface / Komplettes Vorwort > HERE