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An impresario ( Italian impresario , from impresa "company") was the director (possibly also owner) of an opera house or theater or an opera or theater company, comparable to a present day director or theater producer . He was the managing director and therefore responsible for finances, economic evaluation and marketing of the production and the company.

Well-known impresarios

The composer Georg Friedrich Händel was a well-known impresario who performed his operas in London in his own house and was therefore artistic director and managing director in personal union. This also applies to William Shakespeare in his genre. Such a personal union was not common; often the impresario was a patron who contributed money. Another influential impresario was Sergei Dyagilev , the founder and director of the Ballets Russes . The Berlin theater producer Max Reinhardt is still regarded as an example of the role of the impresario .

Artist agents

In individual cases, artist agents or managers were also referred to as impresario , especially in the areas of film and ( music ) theater , who take care of engagements and even complete career planning. The term became uncommon in the German-speaking world in the course of the 20th century, and is no longer used today.

English speaking area

In the English-speaking world, independent theater producers are still called impresario today. Examples:

  • Florence Ziegfeld Jr. , whose Ziegfeld Follies enjoyed great success on Broadway at the beginning of the 20th century
  • Cameron Mackintosh , according to the New York Times as early as 1990 the " most successful, influential and powerful theater producer in the world "
  • Bill Kenwright , West End theater producer

Figurative meaning

In an interview, the filmmaker Jacques-Yves Cousteau described himself as an “impresario of scientists” because he systematically included scientists in his underwater documentaries.


  • Jutta Toelle: Opera as a business. Impresari at Italian opera houses 1860–1900 . Bärenreiter, Kassel 2007, ISBN 978-3-7618-1365-2 ( review )

Source references

  2. Cousteau on ( Memento of the original dated December 3, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Impresario  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations