The term first performance (abbreviated as EA) means the first performance of a stage work or piece of music in a translation, sometimes including the respective language of the translation (eg “German-language premiere”, abbreviation: DSE). The actual first performance in the original language is again referred to as the world premiere. Sometimes, however, the first performance at a different venue – at which the premiere of the work did not take place – is also referred to as the first performance (for example, “Erstaufführung in Berlin”).
These terms therefore resemble each other, which is why they are often interchanged or mistakenly used interchangeably. However, the distinction has already been documented since the 18th century and is usually carried out, especially since the turn of the century from the 19th to the 20th century. For example, on 15 December 1904 Wilhelm Michel kept the following in Munich’s Neues Nachrichten, a daily newspaper published between 1848 and 1945:
For example, For example, the fashion word “premiere”, which stands at the tender age of two or three years at most, all the prospect of being incorporated into the permanent stock of language. It is not a new name for a new thing. The thing it means is almost as old as the theater at all. It is, therefore, with him a real fashion word, which is characterized by scarcity and a happy demarcation against the concept of “first execution.”
An example: The play Minna von Barnhelm was premiered by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing on 30 September 1767 in Hamburg. If the work were to be translated into another language – for example, in English – the first performance would be an English-language premiere. In addition, the concept could be taken when the work is performed for the first time in a different place – not in Hamburg, for example – (first performance in Weimar).
If, however, a performance is a new production of a material, that is, a form of representation, which has not been shown before in this form, one speaks of the premiere in relation to the first performance. If Minna von Barnhelm were to be shown again, so in a form, as the play had never been staged, one would call this premiere.