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Lortzing, (Gustav) Albert

Lortzing, (Gustav) Albert (b Berlin, 1801; d Berlin, 1851). Ger. composer, actor, tenor, and librettist. Played pf., vn., and vc., and comp. from early youth. Married actress in 1823 and worked as actor. First opera Ali Pascha von Janina prod. in Münster, 1824. Leading ten. at Leipzig State Th. 1833–43. While there, his operas Die beiden Schützen (1837) and Zar und Zimmermann (1837) were successfully perf. His Hans Sachs (1840) and Casanova (1841) failed, but Der Wildschütz (1842) was a triumph. In Undine (1845), he made use of leitmotiv. In 1846 he went to Vienna, returning to Leipzig 1849 for his Rolands Knappen. Financial troubles led him to accept Berlin post in 1850 conducting farces and vaudevilles, and largely caused his death. His last work was operetta Die Opernprobe (The Opera Rehearsal), 1851, prod. in Frankfurt day before he died.

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Lortzing, Gustav Albert

Gustav Albert Lortzing (gŏŏs´täf äl´bĕrt lôr´tsĬng), 1801–51, German opera composer. Lortzing's first opera was written in 1824. Among his best-known works are the comic operas Zar und Zimmerman [the Czar and the carpenter] (1837), about Peter the Great, and Der Wildschütz [the poacher] (1842). He also wrote a romantic opera, Undine (1845), as well as an oratorio, songs, and incidental music. His works are rarely heard outside Germany. Lortzing had 11 children and was in financial difficulty for much of his life.

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