Weber, Carl Maria Von. (1786–1826)
"Oberon" - Covent Garden Broadside advertising the April 1826 Premiere
Original Theatre Royal Covent Garden broadside, dated Thursday, April 6, 1826, advertising a production of School for Scandal, with a song by J. Isaacs in act III and an additional musical farce, A Roland for an Oliver; The Good Natured Man, with musical farce, 'Twas I, followed by The Irish Tutor; the comic opera Love in a Village and the melodrama The Miller and His Men; Shakespeare's Macbeth followed by Giovanni in London. Among others, the great singers assembled include Elizabeth Vestris and John Braham. Most importantly, the broadside concludes with the promise that "A NEW OPERA, (in three acts) to be called / OBERON, / has been long in preparation, for which, / CARL MARIA VON WEBER, / has composed the whole of the Music. Its production will now be delayed no longer than / WEDNESDAY next [i.e. April 12], on which night it will certainly be performed." Edges a little rough, overall in fine condition, tipped along the upper edge to a rigid backing. 7.75 x 12.75 inches (20 x 32 cm).
Oberon was indeed first performed on April 12th, 1826 at Covent Carden in London. "The whole nature of Oberon, then, both in its subject and in the method of treating it which Weber was led to adopt, is orchestral rather than vocal; yet the freshness and charm of his melodies is if anything at its peak in the disjointed numbers which comprise it" (Warrack, Carl Maria von Weber, p. 326). This opera was the last by Weber. When the composer arrived in London in February 1826, he was already suffering from tuberculosis. "But he did not live to see his homeland again, as he died alone and quietly in his room at Smart’s during the night of 4–5 June, succumbing at last to tuberculosis," (Michael C. Tusa, Grove Music Online), less than two months after the performance advertised on the present broadside.