Re: Leonardo und Blandine

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Andy Konky Kru has posted the following links to the Platinum Age Comics list concerning Joseph Franz von Goez’ 1783 comic Leonardo und Blandine, which I mentioned here the other day. One is an abstract from a conference on music theatre and opera at CUNY. It runs:

Thomas Betzwieser (Universität Bayreuth), Body and Gesture in 18th-Century German Melodrama: then 160 “Passionate” Engravings to Peter von Winter’s Lenardo und Blandine (1779).

The German melodrama with its specific mixture of spoken text and music has been principally designed for famous (female) actors. In the history of the early German melodrama, Peter von Winter’s Lenardo und Blandine (Munich 1779) merits attention, since it has been enriched by ‘additional’ material by the librettist Joseph Franz von Goetz. The poet not only provided esthetical reflections on acting, but he furthermore published in 1783 a series of 160 engravings illustrating Winter’s melodrama scene by scene. There is hardly any other theatrical performance in late 18th century which is documented so perfectly through iconographical sources. This collection of illustrations has to be investigated by different question, in order to determine the ‘status’ of this source: (1) the relationship between these illustrations and performance(s), and (2) the function of the collection, possibly as a model for acting. These questions have already been raised by research in regard to the eloquence of body in late-18th-century Germany. However, one of the most important issues remained untouched so far, i.e. the interaction of music and gesture. In contrast to other iconographic sources of musical theater, in this case the artist/illustrator is identical with the producer, since Goetz himself guided the rehearsals of Lenardo und Blandine in 1782. Therefore, it seems obvious that his illustrations are reflecting the musical rhetoric in the same way as they are mirroring the text. The high quantity of the illustrations producing very dense (sometimes “film-like”) sequences of pictures, permits a closer look on the subtle correspondance between the rhetoric of the body and those of the music.

Additionally, there’re mentions of the play in this book about German opera and this essay by Walter Scott. Also, here’s the Wiki on the author of the original version of Leonardo und Blandine, Gottfried August Bürger. The mid-19th-century painting above showing Leonardo and Blandine is by Wilhelm Lokhart.

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