(Monaco Franze)

Pen and ink, wash, white gouache.

18.9 x 14.2 inches. Private collection 

"Monaco Franze, of course, has no idea about the opera and certainly not about Wagner, which is why he looks forward with horror to the subsequent planned visit to the restaurant. Nevertheless, in the restaurant he dares to openly confront the spokesman Dr. Schönfärber – nomen est omen – and castigates the performance as "old-fashioned to provincial", the conductor as "uninspired and lame" and the singer of Brünhilde as "undisposed". In no time at all, a vociferous argument is underway. The self-proclaimed opera connoisseur Dr. Schönfärber insults Monaco as "impudent and prepotent" and, on behalf of the illustrious company at the table, objects to desecrating the alleged "star hour" in such a way. Before it comes to a full-blown scuffle, the unequal couple leaves the restaurant. Outside the door, a salesman from the Süddeutsche Zeitung crosses their path, Monaco buys a copy and, apparently curious, opens the short review of the premiere. He gleefully reads the devastating lines of the (fictitious) opera critic Hans Böttner-Salm, who is considered an institution, to his annoyed wife, which miraculously correspond word for word to what Monaco had provocatively thrown into the round shortly before. Annette snatches the paper out of his hands to return to the restaurant and finally show the "chatterbox" Dr. Schönfärber a good time. The riddle's solution: Monaco had intercepted the critic after the performance and asked him in advance for his incorruptible judgment."

(From: "The small Wagnerian", Enrik Lauer and Regine Müller, C.H. Beck Verlag)