Reviews: F. von Suppé, A Trip to Africa

Updated: May 7, 2020

Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Book cover of A Trip to Africa "Die Afrikareise" A Comic Opera by Franz von Suppe

In 1883, three of the masterminds of Viennese operetta collaborated on a new masterpiece; A Trip to Africa – or Die Afrikareise in the original German. They were composer Franz von Suppé and librettists Richard Genée and Moritz West. The final result was one of the best Viennese operettas of all time. The work was performed across the world for 50 years, before the advent of films and lighter musical theatre made it, and many other works belonging to the same tradition, obsolete. The last known performance was in Italy in 1922.

Using sources from all over the world, this book pieces together for the first time a complete libretto, in English, German and Italian, with the original stage directions, as well as images of some of the productions. The story is full of humour, romance and suspense, with catchy melodies in a quintessentially Viennese style.

The opera’s fortunes may have changed, however, with the interest shown in it by the Italian conductor Dario Salvi and his wife Hannah. Dario is the founder of the Imperial Vienna Orchestra, based in Norwich, where the operetta’s first revival since 1922 has recently taken place in concert.

George Hall, Opera Magazine

This volume is a special contribution to musicology, and a significant step in the deepening research into Viennese operetta, and particularly to the life and work of Franz von Suppé.

Dr Robert Letellier, Cambridge Scholars Publishing blog

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