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Barbara Chmara-Żackiewicz

(b Glinno, nr Poznań, April 9, 1757; d Warsaw, July 23, 1829). Polish impresario, librettist, actor and singer. He was a central figure in the history of the Polish theatre. He studied in Kraków (1770–73), where he attended many theatrical and concert performances organized by Sierakowski, prompting him to change the direction of his career away from the army and towards the theatre. He probably completed his studies at the Piarist school in Warsaw. For a few months during ...

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Peter Branscombe

(b ? Moravia or Upper Austria, ?1740s; d Aachen, bur. Aug 7, 1792). Austrian theatre manager, actor and singer. He was engaged at Brünn (now Brno) in 1770, from the autumn of that year as director of the troupe. For long periods he toured in Austria, southern Germany and the Rhineland. In early summer ...

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(b Paris, 1725; d Paris, July 29, 1801). French librettist, dramatist and actor. He failed to make his mark as an actor in Paris, and pursued his career in the provinces (in Rennes, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Rouen) and on various foreign stages (Bayreuth, Munich, Berlin and Brussels). While in Berlin sometime after ...

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(b Bayon, Lorraine, c1740; d nr Beauvais, c1810). French composer, singer and actor. According to Fétis he studied music at the archiepiscopal school of Nancy. By 1762 he was a singer and composer in Lyons, where his pastoral La bergère des Alpes...

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Roger Fiske and Irena Cholij

(b Southampton, bap. March 4, 1745; d London, July 25, 1814). English composer, dramatist, poet, novelist, actor, singer and entertainer. Dibdin was the 12th child of a parish clerk and a sorely tried mother who produced at least 14 children. His own claim to have been educated at Winchester College is not supported by the school records, though he did have lessons from James Kent and Peter Fussell, successive cathedral organists there. As a composer he was self-taught; he himself thought that he had learnt to compose by scoring Corelli’s concertos from the separate parts and from reading Rameau’s ...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(d New York, Aug 6, 1793). English tenor and actor . After appearing in Norwich and briefly at the King’s Theatre he was taken on by John Beard at Covent Garden, making his début there as Young Meadows in Love in a Village (...

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Eleanor Russell

(fl 1762–73). Spanish composer and actor. Famous first as a comic actor, he was also well known as a composer for the lyric stage by 1762; according to Subirá, he was paid 300 reales for three tonadillas and some incidental pieces, and 600 reales for the music to the comedy ...

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Robert D. Hume

(b Hereford, Feb 19, 1717; d London, Jan 20, 1779). English actor, manager and playwright. He was the greatest Shakespearean actor of the mid-18th century and an influential manager of Drury Lane from 1747 to his retirement in 1776. He was also knowledgeable about ballet and opera. In ...

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(b Berlin, 30 Nov ?1746 [or 1743/4]; d Hanover, May 20, 1796). German actor, manager, dramatist and librettist. While in the Prussian civil service at Danzig he was offered the chance of standing in for a member of Abel Seyler's company at Gotha in ...

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Susan L. Porter

(b nr Manchester, England, cJune 7, 1765; d nr Bladensburg, MD, Sept 12, 1805). Actor, singer, and theatrical manager of English birth. He began his career in 1782 with the Tate Wilkinson troupe in York; by 1790 he was playing leading roles in tragedy, comedy, and comic opera at the major English provincial theaters. He made his debut in the United States on ...

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(b Vienna, Feb 22, 1717; d Vienna, Feb 3, 1784). Austrian comic actor, singer, dramatist and theatre manager. The son of the actor-manager Felix Kurz, and godson of ‘Hanswurst’ Stranitzky and J.B. Hilverding, he grew up in the theatre, and by the age of 20 he was performing leading roles with the German troupe at Vienna's Kärntnertortheater under the direction of Stranitzky's successor, Gottfried Prehauser. From ...

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Peter Branscombe

(b Vienna, Oct 20, 1763; d Vienna, Feb 4, 1816). Austrian dramatist, pamphleteer and actor . He swiftly squandered a sizeable inheritance, thereafter living penuriously by his wits. His stage career swung between the Leopoldstadt and Wieden/Wien theatres, for both of which he supplied a string of mainly ephemeral farces, dramatic caricatures, travesties and parodies. The most popular were a series of Singspiel adaptations of comedies by Philipp Hafner, including ...

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Peter Branscombe

(b Liestal, nr Basle, Aug 23, 1730; d Rellingen, nr Hamburg, April 25, 1800). Swiss impresario and actor, active in Germany. He was one of the 12 merchants of Hamburg who founded the German National Theatre in 1767. After the death of his first wife, or perhaps his divorce from her, his infatuation with the actress (Friederike) Sophie Hensel (née Sparmann), whom he later married, led to his wholehearted espousal of the theatre. He gained a controlling interest in the Hamburg theatre but in ...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b London, ? 1728; d London, Nov 1, 1776). English actor and singer. Creator of the roles of Mr Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer and Sir Anthony Absolute in The Rivals, he was described by Garrick as the greatest comic genius he had ever seen. He sang well enough to be given roles in several English operas. Dibdin wrote that ‘nothing upon earth could have been superior to his Midas’ (in the burletta of that name) and he was the first Justice Woodcock in ...

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Peter Branscombe

(b Breslau, Feb 19, 1741; d Vienna, Jan 23, 1800). Austrian dramatist and actor. He is sometimes referred to as ‘the younger’, half-brother of (Christian) Gottlob Stephanie (‘the elder’). He enrolled as a law student at Halle but enlisted as a Prussian hussar in the Seven Years War, was captured by the Austrians in ...

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Thomas Bauman

(b Vienna, Aug 24, 1742; d Vienna, Sept 18, 1810). German actor and dramatist. The son of a poor servant, he was taught by the Jesuits along with his younger brother Paul. In 1757 he ran away from home and became a dancer, then turned to acting. He settled in Vienna in ...