The theatre on the Ranstädter Bastei was opened on 10th October 1766 with a performance of Elias Schlegel‘s “tragedy Herrmann”, with student Johann Wolfgang Goethe in attendance. The building was destroyed in World War II in 1943 and not rebuilt after 1945 (the central tram station at Goerdeler Ring is on the current site). It was the first purpose-built theatre in Leipzig. The auditorium had a semi-circular layout with three tiers and a gallery. It was designed so that the acoustics would be equally as good in every seat. The construction was financed by the Leipzig merchant Gottlieb Benedict Zehmisch and built by the Dresden architect Georg Rudolph Fäsch 1754/55, based on the model of the small electoral Schauspielhaus in Dresden. In 1817, the Karlsruhe architect Friedrich Weinbrenner gave the theatre a classical West-facing facade. It was in this form that the young Wagner first became familiar with the Old Theatre, as it was known following the new construction of 1866/68 in the current Augustusplatz. Richard’s sisters, Rosalie and Louise Wagner, were temporarily employed there as actresses. Wagner came to be greatly indebted to the patronage of the musical director, Heinrich Dorn; Wagner later referred to his “Paukenschlag Overture” as the “culmination of his follies”. In contrast, his overture and the closing music following the 5th act, composed for the tragedy “King Enzio” by E. Raupach, which was also performed in the Old Theatre, represented a progression. Wagner completed this work on 3rd February 1832. It was first performed on 26th (16th) March 1832 and was regularly repeated in further performances of the piece.