Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Hope Koehler

Committee Co-Chair

Mary T. Ferer


Franz Xaver Scharwenka (1850-1924), was an enterprising and successful pianist, composer, and teacher in nineteenth century Germany who in 1893 composed an opera, Mataswintha, based on the novel Ein Kampf um Rom by the celebrated German author Felix Dahn. This work, in the style of Richard Wagner, was most earnestly marketed by its publisher Breitkopf und Hartel, yet received only the following four complete performances in its lifetime: an orchestral concert performance and a staged performance in Weimar, Germany and an orchestral concert performance and a staged performance in New York City on April 1, 1897 at the Metropolitan Opera under the auspices of the Damrosch Opera Company. This study explores opera in New York City, specifically at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as the people who brought Mataswintha to the Metropolitan, for its second, and final staged performance before the work fell into obscurity. It concludes with a brief description of the work, based on six excerpts that were extracted for Breitkopf und Hartel to license for separate performance.