Devrient, Eduard (Philipp)
- Gaynor G. Jones
(b Berlin, Aug 11, 1801; d Karlsruhe, Oct 4, 1877). German theatre historian, librettist and baritone. Eduard Devrient, nephew of the actor Ludwig Devrient, had two brothers who became actors: Karl (first husband of Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient) and Emil. At the age of 17 he entered the Berlin Singakademie and studied singing and thoroughbass with Zelter. He gave his first solo public performance in 1819 in Berlin in C.H. Graun’s Der Tod Jesu and on 18 April 1819 he sang the part of Thanatos in Gluck’s Alceste; after his performance as Masetto in Don Giovanni, he was engaged as a baritone at the Royal Opera.
In 1822 Devrient went on a tour to Dresden, Leipzig, Kassel and Frankfurt (where he was influenced by J.N. Schelble). Later he visited Vienna to hear the Italian opera in which Lablache and other famous singers were performing under Barbaia’s direction. He met Mendelssohn in ...