Anton Schweitzer (6 June 1735 in Coburg – 23 November 1787 in Gotha) was a German composer of operas, who was affiliated with Abel Seyler's theatrical company.
He was a child prodigy who obtained the patronage of the duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, who sent him to study with Jakob Friedrich Kleinknecht at the court of Bayreuth in 1758, and then sent him to Italy (1764–66), and made him Kapellmeister. With the dismissal of the court orchestra at Hildburghausen, he was enabled to tour Europe with the Seyler theatrical company from 1769. His most notable work is the opera Alceste (1773), with a German libretto by Christoph Martin Wieland, among the early German-language operas.
Alcestis or Alceste, was a princess in Greek mythology, known for her love of her husband. Her story was popularized in Euripides's tragedy Alcestis.
Christoph Martin Wieland was a German poet and writer. He is best-remembered for having written the first Bildungsroman, as well as the epic Oberon, which formed the basis for Carl Maria von Weber's opera of the same name. His thought was representative of the cosmopolitanism of the German Enlightenment, exemplified in his remark: "Only a true cosmopolitan can be a good citizen."
Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, was a German princess and composer. She became the duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, by marriage, and was also regent of the states of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach from 1758 to 1775. She transformed her court and its surrounding into the most influential cultural center of Germany.
Georg Anton Benda, , was a Czech composer, violinist and Kapellmeister of the classical period.
Weimar Classicism was a German literary and cultural movement, whose practitioners established a new humanism from the synthesis of ideas from Romanticism, Classicism, and the Age of Enlightenment. It was presumably named after the city of Weimar, Germany, because the leading authors of Weimar Classicism lived there.
Ferdinand Jagemann was a German painter; known primarily for his portraits.
Friedrich Preller the Elder was a German landscape painter and etcher. From 1832 he was a professor at the Fürstlichen freien Zeichenschule in Weimar. He was the father of the artist Friedrich Preller the Younger.
Friedrich Christian Bressand was a Baroque German poet and opera librettist.
Friederike Sophie Seyler was a German actress, playwright and librettist. Alongside Friederike Caroline Neuber, she was widely considered Germany's greatest actress of the 18th century; Gotthold Ephraim Lessing described her in his Hamburg Dramaturgy as "incontestably one of the best actresses that German theatre has ever seen."
Abel Seyler was a Swiss-born theatre director and former merchant banker, who was regarded as one of the great theatre principals of 18th century Europe. He was "the leading patron of German theatre" in his lifetime, and is credited with introducing Shakespeare to a German language audience, and with promoting the concept of a national theatre in the tradition of Ludvig Holberg, the Sturm und Drang playwrights, and German opera. Already in his lifetime, he was described as "one of German art's most meritorious men."
The Seyler Theatre Company, also known as the Seyler Company, was a theatrical company founded in 1769 by Abel Seyler, a Hamburg businessman originally from Switzerland who became "the leading patron of German theatre" in his lifetime. It was largely a continuation of the Hamburgische Entreprise, whose dramaturge was Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and whose main owner was Seyler. The Seyler theatrical company became one of the most famous theatrical companies of Europe in the 18th century, attracting some of Germany's leading actors, playwrights and composers. It originally comprised around 60 members, including an orchestra, a ballet, house dramatists and set designers. Between 1777 and 1778 Seyler employed some 230 actors, singers and musicians. The company was originally contracted by the Hanoverian court with performing at Hanover and other cities of the kingdom. The company would eventually perform all across Germany, and performed for three years at the Weimar Schlosstheater, invited by Duchess Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. When Anna Amalia succeeded in engaging the Seyler Company, this was "an extremely fortunate coup. The Seyler Company was the best theatre company in Germany at that time." The company had an important role in the development of German opera in the late 18th century.
Alceste is an opera in German in five acts by Anton Schweitzer with a libretto by Christoph Martin Wieland. It was commissioned by Abel Seyler for the Seylersche Schauspiel-Gesellschaft, and premiered on 28 May 1773 at the Hoftheater Weimar. Considered a milestone of German opera, it was revived in Weimar and recorded in 1999.
Oberon, or The Elf King, or simply Oberon, originally known as Huon and Amanda, is a romantic Singspiel in five acts by Friederike Sophie Seyler, based on the poem Oberon by Christoph Martin Wieland, which itself was based on the epic romance Huon of Bordeaux, a French medieval tale. It has been named for two of its central characters, the knight Huon and the fairy king Oberon, respectively.
Franziska Romana Koch, née Gieraneck, Giwraneck, Giraneck, Jiránek (1748–1796) was a German ballet dancer, soprano, and actress. First a dancer as the member of the theatre company Kochische Gesellschaft, she also trained her voice and worked at the court theatre of Weimar. Anton Schweitzer composed the opera Alceste for her, and its librettist Christoph Martin Wieland celebrated her performance in the title role in a poem. She later worked in Gotha, and finally in Leipzig as a member of Bondini's company, where she retired in 1787.
Rosamunde is a singspiel by Anton Schweitzer to a German-language libretto by Christoph Martin Wieland for the Seyler theatrical company of Abel Seyler, premiered 20 January 1780, at the Nationaltheater Mannheim. The singspeil was revived by the 60th Schwetzingen Festival in 2012 in a production by Jens Daniel Herzog.
Ernst Christoph Dressler was a German composer, operatic tenor, violinist and music theorist. A self-taught singer and violinist, he became a musician at several courts before he moved to the Court Opera in Vienna and finally to Kassel. He is known for a march on which Beethoven based his first published composition.
Hans Michael Schletterer was a German musical administrator, conductor, composer and writer on music. He was important in the musical life of Augsburg.
Karl Friedrich Krüger was a German actor and the brother of actress Caroline Demmer.
Johann Baptist Spitzeder was an Austrian actor and bass singer.
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