The Secret History of the Opera

Exposé for a film on the history of opera audiences

This film is an exposé and treatment for a film production that we have yet to realize. From a number of sources, images and stories we had learned that in the time when most opera houses were built, it was not the operas at all, i.e. the art, for which the audience visited the opera houses, but it was the conversation. It was the art and the music that accompanied the conversations of the city, not the other way around.

Silence, which until today has been a feature of all musical theater and concert performances, had to be invented in the course of the long 19th century. Until then - that is, before Richard Wagner - opera houses had been designed in such a way that they not only took conversation during performances for granted, but their architecture even favored it - with all the effects that this behavior would have on the design of the operas themselves and their plots. And anyone who is interested in so-called historical performance practice today should not be content with reconstructed gut strings and splendid costumes by candlelight, but should also stage the historical audience at the same time.
audience at the same time. Our film aims to illustrate this approach to the concert and music theater, which is surprisingly different for our understanding today.

Hörfunksendung Musikstunde





Film by Uli Aumüller

Sebastian Rausch, Peter Moormann

Camera assistance
Sophie Schricker

Photos and voice-over
Uli Aumüller

Holger Klöden
Alexander Scholz

Arndt Waßmann

Eva Kohlweyer

Music historical consulting
Allessandro Roveri (Modena)
Nicolai Sani (Bologna)
Jutta Toelle (Berlin)

Project management
Nico Heinrich

Production management
Diana Kallauke

Torsten Bönnhoff

(c) Monarda Arts 2014

Cast & Crew

Uli Aumüller
Director of photography
Sebastian Rausch
Assistant director
Sophie Aumüller