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2006 | 6 | 65-85

Article title

THE ORGANISATION OF THEATRICAL LIFE IN SLUCK IN 1752-1760 (Organizacja zycia teatralnego w Slucku w latach 1752-1760).

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The musicians, dancers and actors employed by Prince Hieronim Florian Radziwill in Sluck (now in Belarus), were brought in mainly from outside Poland - from Vienna and, in smaller numbers, from Dresden, Königsberg, Torun and Warsaw. Apart from the individual engagement of artists, one can see at least four significant waves of musicians brought to the Radziwill estate in 1748, 1751, 1753, and 1756. The musicians at Radziwill's court were grouped into several ensembles, such as Italian musicians, Viennese-Czech-Polish musicians (in the so called 'chapel'), a chamber ensemble, an ensemble of janissary music, the garrison chapel, and a considerable group of drummer boys, trumpet and horn players. The dance ensemble was created there in 1756, but the dancers had been employed since 1751. In 1753-1754 in Sluck there was a group of German actors and Prince Radziwill planned also to stage French and Italian comedies. From 1752 to 1760 at least 10 productions had been staged on at least 30 theatrical evenings. The author of most of these pieces written in German was Mejer (1750-1756), an organist and composer; among other composers we can note were Józef Kohaut, Franciszek Wittman, and perhaps Giovanni Battista Hochbrucker. Sheet music was supplied by the employed musicians and actors. Among the operas staged in Sluck, were such productions as 'Historia Tamerlana' (Tamerlan's History), 'Marynaty', and 'Tatupapu'. Those performances were given in German and Italian. The basic opera genres, both comic opera and intermezzo and, in the middle of the 1750s, 'dramma musica' were all produced. Also 'commedia dell'arte' pieces were staged in German. As far as the ballet is concerned, it was limited to dance divertissements and it seems that, in spite of the presence of an excellent dance group in Sluck, such spectacles as 'ballets d'action' were not staged.






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  • Irena Bienkowska, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Muzykologii, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 32, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland


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Publication order reference


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