• Zaide, European slave of the Sultan (soprano )
  • Gomatz also European slave (Tenor)
  • Soliman, the Turkish Sultan (Tenor)
  • Osmin, slave traders ( bass)
  • Allazim, favorite slave of the Sultan ( or the bass -baritone )

Zaide (KV 344, 336b ) is a German Singspiel fragment in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for a lost libretto by Johann Andreas Schachtner. Mozart dedicated this piece to his friend, theater director Johann Heinrich Böhm.

The Zaide is a long time often overlooked forerunner of serious composed two years later serene German Singspiel Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Just as in this, it is also about one - in this case failed - escape from a sultan's palace.

  • 2.1 The persons acting
  • 2.2 action
  • 2.3 The final question
  • 3.1 Long lost
  • 3.2 supplements


Mozart was a 23- year-old still employed by the Archbishop of Salzburg. It is well known that he was not happy in this service ratio ( he himself described it in a letter to his father as " slavery "). Francis of hay field, an influential man in the Viennese theater world advised him with a comical German opera to compete at the Viennese court for a job. But Mozart was in his former life situation rather serious German opera writing ( which was pretty daring, finally shouted to his time in Vienna serious opera in Italian only - as opera seria ).


As suggestions for the Singspiel following works were:

  • Zaïre ( a play with music, words by Voltaire, music by Michael Haydn, performed in 1777 in Salzburg, Leopold Mozart reported to his son in several letters of this performance ) and
  • The Seraglio or The unvermutethe meeting in slavery between father, daughter and son ( a Singspiel by Joseph Friebert, text by Franz Joseph Sebastiani, 1777 in Wels, east of Salzburg, listed ).

Both pieces have a socially critical action. It's about slavery, contempt for the " lowly ", misunderstanding and arbitrariness of the powerful. Since all of this is shown in a Turkish flavor, the works remained uncensored. In addition, is

  • Adelheid (also: Adelheit ) of Veltheim (music: Christian Gottlob Neefe, Text: Gustav Friedrich Wilhelm Grossmann, UA 1781) mentioned by Mozart's widow in her later correspondence with André in the context of the fragment.

Text seal

The Salzburg court trumpeter Johann Andreas Schachtner, a friend of Leopold Mozart, wrote the libretto for the new musical comedy - he probably used it Sebastianis textbook The Seraglio as a template. In 1779, Mozart was able to start working. (Peter Sellars: "The music vibrates almost of his fervent conviction of the need for social change, of renewal of avant-garde shapes and a deeply touching tenderness. " )

The contents of the Singspiel

The persons acting

The people involved are very reminiscent of the later Abduction from the Seraglio, see the following comparison:


Sultan Soliman desires his European slave Zaide, but this only loves her fellow Gomatz and submit to the exhausted slaves numb her picture in her lap. Now also in love with Gomatz Zaide and all fear falls away from him. He wants to run away with his lover and is supported by Allazim, the favorite slaves Soliman, who also decides to take their own destiny into their own hands and brave to go with them.

Osmin, the slave trader, reported to the Sultan of escape of slaves and is sure that the fugitive will not get far. Soliman is racing with rage and wounded vanity that Zaide prefers him a slave, a " Christian dog " at that, and want to practice cruel revenge. Osmin offers Soliman to comfort a beautiful slave to it, but declined the offer. The slave trader can only laugh at the " stupidity" of the ruler. Re trapped Zaide rejects angry against the murderous rulers who wants to shed innocent blood. Allazim denounces the inability of those in power to recognize their subordinates as "brothers " because they have never experienced the plight of the low. Now try Allazim, Zaide and Gomatz to dissuade the Sultan. But everything seems in vain plea for mercy.

At this point, Mozart broke off the work.

The final question

There are various speculations as to the conclusion of the plot could have possibly looked like. In the musical comedy The Seraglio turns out that the three slaves are related to each other: Allazim is the father of Gomatz and Zaide. Then can the Sultan but grace reign and promises them a safe return home. In addition, there is also the variant that Allazim by the Sultan as his former lifesaver recognized and therefore pardoned along with Gomatz and Zaide.

The further fate of the Operetta

Long lost

In 1781 Mozart interrupted work on in his work. On Schachtner text design, about which he was not particularly happy, he had little impact and more and more he saw a that the prospect of being able to perform the work as a serious, German Singspiel, was rather low. In a letter to his father he wrote that " [ ... ] you would rather comical pieces sees". Instead, he began the music to The Abduction from the Seraglio to compose. She was commissioned by Emperor Joseph II, had a similar subject, however, was also provided with very serene elements.

The Zaide fragment, however, was not performed in Mozart's lifetime. Schachtner's libretto is lost, get only the set to music by Mozart vocal pieces and a few keywords at the beginning of each musical number. It lacks the Overture, the spoken texts intermediate and final. 1838 Johann Anton André added his second edition of the opera added an overture and a finale, leaving the missing text by Carl Gollmick ( goes back to the probably also the title ) complete. But the work was first performed in 1866 (75 years after Mozart's death! ) In Frankfurt under the title Zaide. Instead of the Ouverture Andrés incidentally came the sister of the plant. However, the Singspiel could hold on only a few game plans and disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century, almost all of the stages. In recent years, however, Zaide with a wide variety of supplements increasingly found again on the game plans.


In today's performances usually one of the one-movement youth symphonies of Mozart instead of the missing overture played (KV 184 or KV 318) and for writing the spoken between texts and the final part draws you above all the text books of the two Zaide precursor approach, as well as Mozart's sparse notes on the found sheet music and various mentions in his letters. The work is also presented in concert again and again, usually with explanatory words between the vocal pieces.

A few years before his death, Italo Calvino wrote at the request of Adam Pollock, musical director of the Batignano festivals, a version of the substance that provides a narrator who combines the traditional fragments. In his version, the narrator also several possible courses of action and conclusions for the Singspiel. This processing was performed on the festival for the first time mentioned in 1981.

Vocal pieces

  • Brethren, let us be funny (chorus )
  • Inscrutable dispensation ( Melolog: Gomatz )
  • Rest in peace, my life holdes ( Zaide )
  • Hurtle fate, always raging and Yes, now let the fate of rage ( Gomatz )
  • My soul leaps for joy ( Zaide, Gomatz )
  • Lord and friend, how I thank you ( Gomatz )
  • Only brave, my heart, try your luck ( Allazim )
  • O blessed bliss ( Zaide, Gomatz, Allazim )
  • Zaide escaped ( Melolog: Soliman, Osmin )
  • The proud lion- ( Soliman )
  • Anyone hungry at dinner sitting ( Osmin )
  • I am so angry as well ( Soliman )
  • Dreary schluchzet Philomel ( Zaide )
  • Tiger! Wetze only the claws ( Zaide )
  • Ye Mighty see unmoved ( Allazim )
  • Girlfriend! Silence your tears (Quartet: Gomatz, Zaide, Soliman, Allazim )