Gustav Albert Lortzing
Lortzing was born in Berlin, October 23, 1801, and died there January 21, 1851.
His father was an actor, and the wandering life prevented him from getting an adequate musical education, through he studied for a time under Rungenhagen. However, he acquired some skill with the piano, violin and violoncello. He studied the works of Albrechtsberger and soon began to compose, at the same time singing and acting on the stage.
He produced his first operetta in Cologne, 1824, and some years later wrote an oratorio. In 1833 he became first tenor at the Stadt-theater in Leipzig, and here passed the happiest period of his life.
Two comic operas from his pen appeared in 1837, Die beiden Schutzen and Czaar und Zimmermann, and both were very successful, especially the latter.
His next few works fell flat until in 1842 Wildschutz again placed him high in public favor. Two years later he left the stage and became capellmeister at the theater, but he was not successful at this work and soon gave it up.
Other operas followed, Undine (845), Der Waffenschmied (1846), and Rolandsknappen (1849). The latter work procured him the offer of a capellmeistership at Leipzig, but negotiations fell through.
From now on his life was a hard one. He went fro place to place, singing, acting, or conducting his own operas; hisnew operas were refused, and eventually he died conducting vaudeville in Berlin.
A public subscription was raised after his death for his family.