A caprice – the summit of Ibsen’s theatrical career
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIbsen Studies. 2016, 16 (2), 168-185. 10.1080/15021866.2016.1263445
Erik Bøgh’s A Caprice (En Kaprice) premiered 7 September 1859 at the Norwegian Theatre in Christiania (Oslo), staged by theatre manager Henrik Ibsen. The production then ran for another thirty-five performances during the 1859-60 season. In relation to the population of the town, this is by far the greatest box-office success in the history of regular theatres in Norway. No wonder that Michael Meyer understood A Caprice as the ultimate example of the unholy trade Ibsen was forced into as a theatre manager. According to Meyer, in staging A Caprice Ibsen was for the only time in his life “rebuked for truckling to the box-office” (Meyer 1971, 166). The contemporary criticism claimed that Ibsen, by staging A Caprice and other dance performances, was reducing the Norwegian Theatre in Christiania to a kind of amusement park for the lower classes (Morgenbladet Nr. 278, 9.10.1859).