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Home / Authors, Composers and Clinicians / LORTZING, Gustav Albert(1801-1851)
LORTZING, Gustav Albert(1801-1851)
Picture About LORTZING, Gustav Albert(1801-1851)

Gustav Albert Lortzing (October 23, 1801 – January 21, 1851) was a German composer, actor and singer. He is considered to be the main representative of the German Spieloper, a form similar to the French opéra comique, which grew out of the Singspiel.

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

Zar und Zimmermann was received with very little enthusiasm by the public of Leipzig. However, at subsequent performances in Berlin there was a much more positive reaction. The opera soon appeared on all the stages of Germany, and today is 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 technical knowledge he believed necessary for his country's economic progress, such as modern shipbuilding.

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, Der Pole und sein Kind, produced shortly after the Polish insurrection of 1831, and Undine (1845) are notable.

Lortzing was popular in Berlin and after his death, a memorial statue was erected in the Tiergarten in Berlin