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August von Kotzebue, Brief an Ludwig van Beethoven in Wien, Reval, 20. April 1812, Autograph

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, BH 186

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After Beethoven had set Kotzebue's "Die Ruinen von Athen" ("The Ruins of Athens") and "König Stephan" ("King Stephen") to music for the celebratory opening of the Pest Theatre in summer 1811, he asked Kotzebue in January 1812 (BGA 546) for a libretto for an opera, no matter what kind (Beethoven was always on the lookout for suitable libretti). Kotzebue offers the composer various topics for which he has manuscripts.
In addition he asks Beethoven for the conditions for the competition which Prince Lobkowitz had set up in spring 1812 to find the best tragic German opera libretto and the best comic one.
Finally Kotzebue asks Beethoven how "Die Ruinen von Athen" and "König Stephan" have been received with Beethoven's music. After having been put off several times, the Pest Theatre was finally opened on 9 February 1812 with both works (originally the opening was planned for October 1811). Kotzebue complains that apart from the news sent by the composer, he has not been given any information about the reception of the works.

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