The Emperor’s Feast

 A comical look behind the scenes as Mozart creates an opera, and has to compromise – his art, or the Emperor’s money? A finely-tuned parody of 18th century court entertainment … and life.

 It’s the year of 1786, and we are at Schönbrunn Castle, near Vienna. The Austrian Emperor Joseph II has just received a letter from his sister, announcing her impending visit. The delighted Emperor immediately decides to prepare a courtly celebration and a theatre performance in her honour. For this occasion, he commissions Mozart, his court composer, to write a short opera entitled Der Schauspieldirektor (The Theatre Director), based on a libretto he is given. However, at this time, Mozart is working intensely on his own opera, The Marriage of Figaro, and the Emperor’s order forces him to make a difficult decision. In the end, his family’s financial worries convince him to take on the commission.

The theatre is a miniature replica of baroque theatres in which the carved wooden marionettes, the visual richness of the sets, and the carefully finished costumes and other stage elements perfectly recreate the ambience of the period. The movements of the marionettes, along with the magic of shadow theatre, not only bring to life the story’s comic dimensions but also captivate the spectators with charm and imagination.

In places the opera, like silent films, has subtitles that complete the overall comic atmosphere. These subtitles are shown in the language of the country where the performance is being held. Since Mozart’s opera Der Schauspieldirektor consists of only twenty minutes of music, we have added a medley of several themes taken from his works, arranged especially for our performance. This non-stop musical accompaniment, lasting sixty minutes, provides a wealth of situations and inspiration that makes our marionettes come alive.


Technical conditions




Technique: String marionettes and shadows
Duration: 60 minutes without intermission
Recommended number of spectators: Max. 200 persons
Age group: Adults and children over 9 years of age



Complete darkness

High of the stage should be minimum 1 meter (in case of a different high, please inform the company

Dimensions of the structure the company sets up on the stage:
-width: 6 meters
-high: 2.5 meters
-depth: 4 meters

Please inform the company how they can access the stage from the outside with the set and the equipment.

Time for setting up: 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Time for setting off: 2 hours and 30 minutes



Outlet on stage: 200 V – 5 KW – 16 Amp
Lighting equipment is provided by the company.
The company also provides its own minidisk player. They need two jack or canon type outlets on stage for attaching to the theater sound equipment. Otherwise the assistance of a sound technician is necessary through the entire performance.