Music and Theatre have a long tradition in Augsburg: As early as 1450, the first German “Meistersingschule” (college of music) was founded there. In 1665, the so called “Komödienstadel” (comedy theatre), a simple wooden building, was built on Lauterlech. First, it was mainly used for the performances of the students at the “Meistersingschule”. Later on, travelling theatres also performed in the “Komödienstadel”. In 1776, the wooden venue was replaced by a solid stone building – on the same location and under the supervision of the “Almosenamt” (alms office).
Pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were also performed at the theatre on Lauterlech. “La finta giardinierea”, the German opera buffa Mozart composed for Heinrich Böhm, was performed in May 1780 for the first time in this theatre by Böhm’s ensemble as a musical comedy. The ensemble gave guest performances at the “Komödienstadel” from March 28 until May 19, 1780. Seven years later, Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” was performed at this theatre for the first time. On October 27, 1791, “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” was performed. Augsburg’s premiere of “Die Zauberflöte” (The Magic Flute) was on January 21, 1793. Emanuel Schikaneder (1751-1812), who wrote the libretto of this opera, was a guest at the “Komödienstadel” for several seasons and married his wife and colleague Maria Magdaler (called Eleanor) Arth there on Febuary 9, 1777. It is very probable that Schikaneder was also involved in a grand spectacle, initiated by Baron Josef Maximilian von Lütgendorf. Only a short distance away from Augsburg, between Sieben Tischen and Haunstetten, he attempted to get an “air ball” he had invented off the ground. For this occasion, a theatre, holding 4320 people, was built. The newspaper “Augsburger Intelligenzblatt” wrote that Schikaneder also planned a stage performance of the three-act comedy, “Der Luftschiffer”. There is no definite information on whether this play was actually performed, because due to technical defects, the balloon could not fly. Around a hundred visitors had come from Nuremburg, Prague and Vienna, especially to view this spectacle.
Exactly a hundred years after the founding of the “Komödienstadel”, on January 1, 1876, the city council of Augsburg decided to build a more prestigious theatre at the northern end of Fuggerstraße, a street which had resulted from levelling the city’s ditch. After the new theatre opened its doors the “Komödienstadel” on Lauterlech was used by the “Leichenversorgungsamt” (civic department dealing with dead bodies) for a time.
For the current repertoire see: www.theater.augsburg.de