On this day: the first performance of The Magic Flute

Stage set for Mozart's Magic Flute 1815

An 1815 set for the opera.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s famous opera, The Magic Flute, premiered in Vienna on the 30th of September, 1791.

368px-Zauberflöte-Theaterzettel1791The Magic Flute – playbill of the first performance on September 30, 1791 at Schikaneder's Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna.

The playbill for the premiere.

Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote the German libretto, hosted the premiere at his theatre, the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden. Mozart conducted the orchestra, while Schikaneder performed in the show alongside Mozart’s sister-in-law.

397px-SchikanedersTroupe1791Josepha Hofer in performance with the Schikaneder troupe. Mozart's sister-in-law.

Mozart’s sister-in-law, Josepha Hofer.

The opera was immediately considered a success, though no reviews of the first performance exist.

On this day: Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge, London’s most recognisable bridge (and frequently – incorrectly – identified as London Bridge by tourists), photographed here under construction on the 28th of September, 1892.

View of Tower Bridge construction works, September 28th 1892.

On this day: the Wreck of the Old 97

On the 27th of September, 1903 the Old 97, a Southern Railway train, derailed at Stillhouse Trestle near Danville, Virginia.

Eleven were killed – nine immediately – and seven injured.

The crash inspired a ballad that would become famous in the United States, and would later become the focus of a copyright case.

The crash occurred because the train’s operator was running at high speed in order to stay on schedule. The train derailed and fell into a ravine. Some of the survivors attributed their luck to jumping from the vehicle before its plunge down the slope.

This photograph is believed to have been taken a few days after the disaster, as the train has been set back upright.

Wreck of the Old 97

On this day: the Siege of Vienna

The Ottoman Turks began their Siege of Vienna on the 27th of September 1529. Suleiman the Magnificent led the Ottoman Empire’s first attempt to take Vienna.

The siege ran until the 15th of October, when the Christian Coalition defeated the Ottomans.

Austrian troops clash with Turks outside Vienna.

Engraving of clashes between the Austrians and Ottomans outside Vienna, 1529.