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Duplessis, Jean-Baptiste  

Nicholas Anderson

revised by Shirley Thompson

Member of Duplessis family

(fl 1687–98). French harpsichordist and opera director. In October 1687 he signed a three-year contract with the director of the Lyons Opéra to accompany and coach the singers; his annual salary was 700 livres. He was still in Lyons on 4 May 1692 when he witnessed the baptism of dancer Guillaume La Bruyère’s son in the church of Saint Nizier. In ...


García, Manuel (i)  

James Radomski

(del Pópulo Vicente Rodríguez)

Member of García family

(b Seville, Jan 21, 1775; d Paris, June 10, 1832). Spanish composer, tenor, director and singing teacher. He was baptized Manuel del Pópulo Vicente Rodríguez in the church of S María Magdalena on 23 January 1775, the son of a shoemaker, Gerónimo Rodríguez Torrentera (1743–1817), and Mariana Aguilar (1747–1821). The name ‘del Pópulo’ comes from the Augustinian convent (S María del Pópulo) near the family’s home. García seems to have lived a stable family life with his parents, maternal grandmother and sisters Maria and Rita until he was at least 14, when his name disappears from the parish censuses of S María Magdalena. After musical studies in Seville with Antonio Ripa and Juan Almarcha, García made his début in Cádiz, where he married the singer Manuela Morales in 1797. The next year the couple joined Francisco Ramos’s company in Madrid. García’s début with the company, in a ...


Pastor, Tony i  

Gillian Rodger


(b New York, NY, 26 April 1833; d Elmhurst, NY, 26 Aug 1908). Circus performer and variety manager.

He was the third of six children of a Spanish immigrant barber, Antonio Pastor, and his American wife Cornelia Pastor (née Buckley). He was apprenticed to John Jay Nathans, a circus equestrian, in 1847, but gravitated towards a career as a clown. In the latter role he was expected to sing and dance as well as take part in comic minstrel and pantomime skits, which were a standard part of 19th-century circus entertainments.

By the end of the 1850s Pastor had moved into variety entertainment. It was not uncommon for variety theaters to hire circus acts, and Pastor found his first steady employment with Frank Rivers, a Philadelphia manager, and then with Robert Butler, the manager of the American Music Hall in Manhattan. Pastor worked with Butler for several seasons and established himself as a hugely popular performer with a diverse range of skills. A new theater licensing law in ...


Schikaneder, Emanuel  

Peter Branscombe and David J. Buch

(Johann Joseph [Baptist])

Member of Schikaneder family

(b Straubing, Sept 1, 1751; d Vienna, Sept 21, 1812). Austrian dramatist, theatre director, actor, singer, and composer. Educated at the Jesuit Gymnasium at Regensburg, where he was a cathedral chorister, Schikaneder may briefly have been a town musician before he became an actor with F.J. Moser’s troupe in 1773 or 1774. In 1774 he danced in a court ballet at Innsbruck, where his Singspiel Die Lyranten (of which he wrote both words and music) was performed in 1775 or 1776. The Innsbruck company, then under Andreas Schopf and Theresia Schimann, moved in 1776 to Augsburg, where on 9 February 1777 he married Maria Magdalena (known as Eleonore) Arth (b Hermannstadt, 1751; d Vienna, 22 June 1821), an actress in the company. In 1777–8 they were in Nuremberg with Moser’s company, and in December 1777 Schikaneder made a famous guest appearance as Hamlet at the Munich court theatre, where he was obliged to repeat the final scene as an encore. From ...


Schikaneder, Karl  

Peter Branscombe and David J. Buch

Member of Schikaneder family

(b Freising, 1770; d Prague, March 25, 1845). German composer, dramatist, actor, singer, and director, son of Urban Schikaneder. After a period with the Wiednertheater company of his uncle Emanuel Schikaneder, he became a director (Regisseur) at the Theater in der Josefstadt in 1803. He moved to Steyr, Karlsbad and Brno (where he was a member of the company his uncle directed in 1807). In 1811, and again from 1816 to 1819, he was a member of the Theater in der Leopoldstadt, being employed as dramatist, singer and actor. He moved to Prague in 1819, where he was appointed opera director, retiring in 1834. He was the author of a once-popular series of plays and composed a number of musical scores, including at least six to his own texts (others of which were set by Wenzel Müller, Franz Teyber and Franz Volkert (i))....


Trial, Jean-Claude  

Roger J. V. Cotte

Member of Trial family

(b Avignon, Dec 13, 1732; d Paris, June 23, 1771). French violinist, composer, and theatre director. He attracted local attention at an early age for his precocity both as a violinist (at the Concert d’Avignon and later at the Montpellier theatre) and as a composer of violin pieces. He went to Paris for the sole purpose of asking Rameau’s advice, intending to return to the south of France, where he was assured succession to the post of music master for the province of Languedoc. Parisian musical life enticed him, however, and he became first violin at the Opéra-Comique, then second violin and later director of the Prince of Conti’s private orchestra. On 1 April 1767 he was named co-director of the Opéra, with Pierre Berton, theoretically for 30 years. Although their administration achieved successful reorganization of the orchestra and choruses, they were badly received by both critics and public, and in ...