Moritz Nähr: Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) in the loggia of the Vienna Court Opera, 1907, photograph
Gustav Mahler reformed the opera in Vienna in more than just a musical sense: he introduced strict discipline not only for the ensemble but also for audiences: people who arrived after the start of a performance were not admitted until the interval. The lights in the auditorium were not merely dimmed but extinguished during the performance. Towards the end of his directorship of the opera in Vienna, against a background of prevailing anti-Semitism, Mahler became the object of increasingly virulent attacks in the press: he was particularly criticized for his foreign tours, dwindling revenues, rising production costs and the sombreness of Roller’s stage designs.
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