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date: 15 November 2019

Lampe, John Frederick (opera) [Johann Friedrich ]locked

  • Peter Holman

Extract

[Johann Friedrich ]

(b Saxony, late 1702 or early 1703; d Edinburgh, July 25, 1751). German composer who spent most of his life in Britain . Nothing is known for sure of his life before he was admitted to the University of Helmstedt on 2 May 1718, when he was described as ‘Brunsvicensis’ (‘from Brunswick’). He graduated in law in March 1720 and arrived in London in or shortly before 1726, when Henry Carey, later his regular librettist, described him in a poem as ‘my Lamp obscure, because unknown’ who ‘shines in secret (now) to friends alone’. Fame was predicted for him (‘Light him but up! let him in publick blaze, / He will delight not only but amaze’), but he did not attract much public attention until 1732–3, when he joined Carey, Arne and J. C. Smith in a project to produce English operas at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket....

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Music & Letters
C. Burney: A General History of Music from the Earliest Ages to the Present Period (London, 1776-89); ed. F. Mercer (London, 1935/R) [p. nos. refer to this edn]
A. Nicoll: The History of English Drama, 1660-1900 (Cambridge, 1952-9)
London, British Library
London, Royal College of Music, Library