Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Euryanthe is a tale of knightly love, jealousy, villainy and eventual happiness for the lovers. After the success of his opera Der Freischütz, Weber was asked in 1821 by Domenico Barbaia (the same man who had launched Rossini in Naples when he was impresario for the royal theatres there but who had subsequently moved to Vienna ) to produce something on the same lines for Vienna. But Weber had grander ideas, and took the opportunity to launch into something much more on the heroic scale. He approached a Helmina von Chézy and asked her for a libretto. This was a terrible mistake – but it did provide a suggestion for the Opera Garden.

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