Albert Lortzing

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Albert Lortzing

Gustav Albert Lortzing (October 23, 1801 - January 21, 1851) was a German composer.

Born in Berlin to parents who both were actors, at the age of 19 Lortzing began to play the role of youthful lover (Jugendlicher Liebhaber) at the theatres of Düsseldorf and Aachen, sometimes also singing in small tenor or baritone parts.

His first opera, Ali Pascha von Janina, appeared in 1824, but his fame as a musician rests chiefly upon the two operas Der Wildschütz (1842) and Zar und Zimmermann (1837).

Zar und Zimmermann was received with little enthusiasm by the public of Leipzig. However, subsequent performances in Berlin produced a much more positive reaction. The opera was soon placed on all the stages of Germany, and is now regarded as one of the masterpieces of German comic opera. It was translated into English, French, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Bohemian, Hungarian and Russian. The story is based around Tsar Peter I 'The Great' of Russia, who travelled to Germany, Holland and England disguised as a carpenter in order to gain first-hand knowledge he believed necessary for his country's economic progress, such as modern ship-building techniques.

Der Wildschütz was based on a comedy by August von Kotzebue, and was a satire on the unintelligent and exaggerated admiration for the highest beauty in art expressed by the bourgeois gentilhomme.

Of his other operas it is only necessary to note Der Pole und sein Kind, produced shortly after the Polish insurrection of 1831, and Undine (1845).

Lortzing died in Berlin.

External link

This text has been adapted from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica.de:Albert Lortzing fi:Albert Lortzing

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