Ignaz Vitzthumb

Last updated
Ignace Vitzthumb, engraving by Cardon the elder (c. 1785). Brussels, Bibliotheque royale de Belgique Ignace Vitzthumb.jpg
Ignace Vitzthumb, engraving by Cardon the elder (c. 1785). Brussels, Bibliothèque royale de Belgique

Ignaz or Ignace Vitzthumb (also Witzthumb; 14 September 1724 23 March 1816) was an Austrian musician, composer and conductor active in the Austrian Netherlands. He was also music director of the La Monnaie theatre in Brussels.

Contents

Life

Vitzthumb was born in Baden bei Wien. Arriving in Brussels in 1735 at the age of 11, he entered the service of archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria as a child-singer in her choir. Taught by Jean-Joseph Fiocco, then choirmaster of the Brussels chapel royal, Vitzthumb became a court drummer at sixteen, a post he held for more than 40 years alongside other roles. His half-brother, François-Antoine Vitzthumb, was a trumpeter in the court and his son Paul Vitzthumb (1761–1838) succeeded him as court drummer.

After the War of the Austrian Succession, in which he had served in a regiment of Hungarian hussars, he returned to Brussels and took part in several chambers of rhetoric and compagnies bourgeoises, of which there were Francophone as well as Flemish versions. He showed off his talents as a violinist, conductor and theatre director, and was a member of the Concert bourgeois. He is also mentioned among the court musicians as a composer, tenor and violinist in 1758 and 1759, and as a composer from 1760 to 1775.

From 1761, he entered the Théâtre de la Monnaie as its composer and music master, and taught singing to young actors such as Angélique D'Hannetaire and Alexandre Bultos. In 1772, he and the singer Louis Compain became co-directors of the Théâtre, then Vitzthumb was sole director from 1774 to 1777. This period is considered to be one of the most fertile in the Théâtre de la Monnaie's life, and travellers like Charles Burney did not hesitate to praise the quality of the members of its acting troop and orchestra. Even so, the theatre soon went bankrupt and so Vitzthumb was forced to abandon his role as director, though he retained that of conductor. He founded the Opéra flamand in 1772.

Suspended from all his jobs in 1791 for taking part in the insurrection against Joseph II, Vitzthumb left for Amsterdam to take up a post as music master at the "Collège dramatique et lyrique". Falling seriously ill the following year, he returned to Brussels to live with his son Paul and died there in 1816, aged 91.

Works

Sources

Preceded by
D'Hannetaire and the
"Comédiens associés"
director of the
Théâtre de la Monnaie
With Louis Compain until 1776

17721777
Succeeded by
Louis-Jean Pin,
Alexandre Bultos and
Sophie Lothaire

Related Research Articles

François-Joseph Gossec

François-Joseph Gossec was a French composer of operas, string quartets, symphonies, and choral works.

La Monnaie

The Royal Theatre of La Monnaie, is an opera house in central Brussels, Belgium. The National Opera of Belgium, a federal institution, takes the name of this theatre in which it is housed—La Monnaie in French or De Munt in Dutch—referring both to the building as well as the opera company.

Russian opera

Russian opera is the art of opera in Russia. Operas by composers of Russian origin, written or staged outside of Russia, also belong to this category, as well as the operas of foreign composers written or intended for the Russian scene. These are not only Russian-language operas. There are examples of Russian operas written in French, English, Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek, Japanese, or the multitude of languages of the nationalities that were part of the Empire and the Soviet Union.

François van Campenhout

François van Campenhout was a Belgian opera singer, conductor and composer. He composed the music for the Belgian national anthem, "La Brabançonne".

Pieter (Pierre) van Maldere was a violinist and composer from the Southern Low Countries.

Jean-Baptiste Pitrot, called Pitrot cadet to distinguish him from his elder brother Antoine, was a French dancer and balletmaster. His father, Barthélemy Pitrot, was a French actor and dancer who criss-crossed the French provinces and the Southern Netherlands in the first half of the 18th century.

Pierre Gaveaux French operatic tenor and composer

Pierre Gaveaux was a French operatic tenor and composer, notable for creating the role of Jason in Cherubini's Médée and for composing Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal, the first operatic version of the story that later found fame as Fidelio.

Alexandre Bultos was a Belgian comic actor and theatre director.

Louis Compain, also known as Compain-Despierrières, was a French actor and singer. He is notable as the co-director of the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels from 1772 to 1776, where he had made his debut in 1757. He also acted in the Du Londel Troupe in Sweden, at Marseille (1759), Bordeaux (1760), The Hague (1768), Metz (1778), Toulouse (1779), Nîmes (1786) and Nantes (1790).

Marguerite-Louise Odiot de Montroty, stage name Sophie Lothaire was a French dancer, actress and director who spent her whole career at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels.

Louis Bruyas, stage and pen-name Bursay, was a French actor and playwright. He was a member of the prestigious Académie des Arcades de Rome.

Francesco or François Bigottini was an Italian actor, playwright, set designer and grip active in Italy, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Spain.

Joseph Borremans was a composer, organist and conductor in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne or Moyne was a French composer, chiefly of operas.

Neoclassical architecture in Belgium

Neoclassical architecture appeared in Belgium during the period of Austrian occupation in the mid-18th century and enjoyed considerable longevity in the country, surviving through periods of French and Dutch occupation, and the birth of Independent Belgium, surviving well into the 20th century.

François-Louis Henry

François-Louis(-Ferdinand) Henry was a French baritone, who sang for about 35 years with the Opéra-Comique in Paris, where he created numerous leading roles. His stage name was Henri. He has also been referred to as François-Louis Deshayes.

Laurent Bocquet was a French dancer, choreographer and ballet master of the 18th century.

Anne-Marie "Mimi" Vitzthumb was an opera singer and stage actress. She was engaged at the La Monnaie in Brussels in the Austrian Netherlands in 1772-1777, where she belonged to the elite of the stage attractions of her time.

Charles-Louis-Joseph Hanssens Belgian conductor and composer

Charles-Louis-Joseph Hanssens, known under the name Hanssens the elder, was a Belgian violinist, composer, conductor and theatre director.

Isabella Borremans was a Flemish opera singer and stage actor.