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Lortzing, Gustav Albert

Summary Article: Lortzing, (Gustav) Albert (1801–1851) from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide
German composer, singer, conductor, and librettist. Although not well known outside Germany, such operas as Der Wildschütz (1842) and Undine (1845) occupy in his homeland a similar position enjoyed by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain. He had some lessons with C F Rungenhagen in Berlin as a child, but since his parents were travelling actors, he had to obtain his general and musical education as best he could. He learnt the piano, violin, and cello and studied such theoretical works as he could find. He married in 1823 and found it difficult to make a living in a travelling opera company. His first stage work, Ali Pascha von Janina, was produced in Münster in 1828 and repeated in Cologne, Detmold, and Osnabrück. In 1833–34 he was able to lead a more settled life, being engaged as a tenor and actor at the Leipzig municipal theatre. The first two comic operas he wrote there were very succes...    Continue Reading
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