jeudi 29 mars 2018

Opéra de Munich: en 1862, le prince héritier Louis n'était pas misanthrope (in The musical standard, Londres, juillet 1886)

Sophie Stehle (1842-1921)  en Marguerite.
Source de la photographie: Portrait Collection Friedrich Nicolas Manskopf,
 Library of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University,Frankfurt am Main.

En juillet 1886, quelques semaines après la mort tragique du roi de Bavière, toute la presse internationale évoquait la personnalité du roi défunt. La revue musicale londonienne The musical standard ne fait pas exception et relatait dans son édition du 17 juillet une charmante anecdocte évoquant la générosité du prince héritier Louis de Bavière, âgé alors de 16 ans. Le journaliste, désigné par ses seules initiales (E.P.) a tenu à souligner qu'adolescent, et contrairement à la réputation qu'il devait acquérir plus tard, le roi n'était pas du tout misanthrope et se montrait volontiers sociable et généreux. D'après la revue, le prince avait été rendre visite à Guillaume-Auguste-Louis-Maximilien-Frédéric duc de Brunswick, descendu dans un grand hôtel munichois.

On le voit, l'opéra de Munich affichait complet alors comme aujourd'hui. Il est certain que nombre d'amateurs contemporains qui n'ont pas eu la chance d'obtenir le précieux sésame leur ouvrant les portes de l'opéra aimeraient croiser un prince Louis dans leur hôtel munichois.


"The following story, which reaches me from Germany, may interest our readers:

It was in June, 1862, and the theatres in Berlin had been closed on the previous day. I had taken my ticket from Berlin to Munich by the early express service, and on the way had the acquaintance of four fellow-travellers who, like myself, in course of conversation, proved them-selves to be musical enthusiasts and critics-for who else would take the long journey from Berlin to Munich in order to be present at the Royal Opera House, whith Gounods " Faust " was announced for the first time, with MdIle. Stehle as the prima donna?  We all resolved to put up at the same hotel, and arrived at Munich in the course of the afternoon. Anxious to secure our seats, we at once proceeded to the box office, where, however, we learned the vexatious news that the house had been sold out long ago. In a somewhat melancholy mood we repaired to our hotel, and began to consult, over a glass of beer, whether we were to drown our sorrow in the " Münchener Brauhaus" or in the " Allotria," when a young officer passed our table, kindly acknowledging the most respectful salutations of our landlord. " Who was the young lieutenant whom you saluted just now ?" asked one of our Party. " Well, that is our Crown Prince Ludwig, who is just calling on the Duke of Brunswick, who has put up at my hotel," proudly answered Mr. R.... We were just on the point of breaking up when we saw the young Prince quickly descending the staircase, and, noticing our party, he turned to the landlord, saying, in the most affable manner, " Well, then, your hotel is full of visitors, I presume. Are there many guests for the opera ? " '' Certainly, your Royal Highness; but few will be able to find a seat, the house being sold out since yesterday morning already," and, pointing over to us, our landlord resolutely continued, " Those gentlemen have come a long journey, all the way from Berlin, in fact, to hear the opera, and now they are, of course, greatly disappointed." " I am very sorry," said the Crown Prince jovially ; " please introduce the gentlemen to me." This done, the Crown Prince sat down at our table, quite sans façon and everyone of us was soon drawn into the conversation. " Musical enthusiasts coming all the way from Berlin, and unable to find a seat at in the Munich Opera House. That will never do. We must find a way to get over the difficulty," said the Prince, and, with these words, he opened his pocket-book, tore out a leaf, and having written a few words on it, he handed it to us, saying, " Produce this piece of paper at the cashier's office and he will show you into your seats soon enough." Before we could express our thanks the Prince had already greeted us politely and had disappeared. The good citizens of Munich, however, must have been puzzled as to who those strange-looking individuals were that occupied the royal box that night, for such had been the order given to us by the Prince, who at that time did not show the least signs of misanthropy. E. P." 

Source du texte: E P. , The late king Ludwig II. of Bavaria, in The musical standard, London Vol. 31, N° 1146, 17 juillet 1886, p. 44.

Guillaume de Brunswick (25 avril 1806– 18 octobre 1884).

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