On 7 February 1786 a memorable operatic contest took place in the Orangery at Schönbrunn , which the Emperor Joseph II himself initiated. The two opera ensembles resident in Vienna were to be judged: the Italian ‘court opera’ and the Singspiel troupe of the German National Theatre. The productions which resulted from this contest were Antonio Salieri’s “Prima la musica e poi le parole” and Mozart’s “ Der Schauspieldirektor ”.

In Salieri’s opera the process of composing is depicted on the stage in music, making this divertimento teatrale a gem in the genre of metamelodrama . “Prima la musica e poi le parole” reveals the composer Salieri not only at the stylistic heights of the period, but also at the height of his music- dramatical creativity. Salieri’s opera stands up fully in comparison with Mozart’s “ Der Schauspieldirektor ”.

The vocal score is based on the first Critical Edition of Salieri’s best-known opera, edited by Thomas Betzwieser .


- Practical performing vocal score
- Based on the first Critical Edition of the opera
- Foreword (German, English) by the editor of the critical score