Stephanie, (Johann) Gottlieb
- 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 1760 and became an Austrian soldier in 1761. He left the army in 1765 and in 1768 was encouraged towards a stage career by the Mozarts' friend Anton Mesmer. Stephanie joined the National-Schaubühne company in 1769, and in 1779 he succeeded J.H.F. Müller as director of the National-Singspiel. Apart from several once-popular plays (especially Der Deserteur aus Kindesliebe (kindlicher Liebe), 1773) he adapted Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer (1769) and Shakespeare's Macbeth (1772) for the Viennese stage. He is, however, chiefly remembered as a librettist. He provided or adapted nearly 20 librettos for the National-Singspiel venture between ...