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John Snelson

(Friedrich) [Gallas, Brian Roy]

(b Wellington, New Zealand, Feb 15, 1946). New Zealand writer on musical theatre. He studied law and classics at Canterbury University, New Zealand, subsequently joining the New Zealand Opera company as a bass singer. After moving to London he became a casting director and then a theatrical agent in musical theatre; from 1990 he devoted himself to writing and broadcasting on this subject. His pioneering two-volume study The British Musical Theatre (London, 1986), won several awards: its thorough survey of performances has ensured its place as an essential reference work. His later Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre (Oxford, 1994) is ambitious in its scope, displaying both the breadth of Gänzl’s interest and, through its selections and judgments, his characteristically personal view of the subject. His other books include Gänzl’s Book of the Musical Theatre (with Andrew Lamb; London, 1988), a companion guide in the manner of Kobbé, ...