Joseph Weidmann

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Joseph Weidmann (born August 24, 1742 in Vienna ; † September 18, 1810 ibid) was an Austrian theater comedian, playwright and member of the directors at the Vienna Court and National Theater (today the Burgtheater ).

life and work

Joseph Weidmann's father was a simple servant who came to Vienna from Würzburg . Joseph and his brother Paul Weidmann were educated in a Jesuit school , today's Academic Gymnasium , at that time a guarantee for the best possible education. It was here at school that he first came into contact with acting. The father wanted to force Joseph out of money to become a servant as well, but he fled to Brno in 1757 with the consent of his mother . There he performed as a grotesque dancer on a small stage , but had to return to Vienna after a slap affair with his director. He obtained permission from his father to play the role of “intriguer” in Gottfried Prehauser's troop . From 1765 he became particularly well-known in Prague through his self-composed posse Lipperl, the lantern boy in love . With the Lipperl he created a strange type role, which he often played on stage.

Weidmann later went to Linz, where he got to know and apply the stage humor cultivated by Joseph Felix von Kurz , known as Bernadon. In 1771 he played in Graz and in 1772 again in Vienna at the Court and National Theater, where he made his debut as Cavalier Arnold in Carlo Goldoni's Pamela in 1773 . Emperor Joseph II liked Weidmann's playing so much that his portrait was put up in the court box next to those of the most important actors of the time. He was even granted the right to extemporize, a permit that was rather unusual at the time. In 1776, the celebrated actor was appointed to the five-man directorship of the court theater. He always enjoyed the favor of the audience and had a week before his death as a commissioner Wallmann in the dowry of Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz , a comedy by Plautus ' Aulularia , an acclaimed appearance.

Not much is known about Weidmann's dramatic oeuvre , apart from the already mentioned Lipperl, the lantern boy in love . The literary historian Karl Goedeke attributes a number of comedies to him that were played in the period from 1785 to 1788, including The Three Twin Sisters. Original fun play in 5 acts (Eisenstadt 1805, Vienna 1809). This work and many others, however, are also ascribed to his brother Paul, since the work of the two of them could not be conclusively separated in literary history due to their close literary collaboration. In most cases, therefore, both were named as authors even in unexplained cases. An example of one of the pieces actually written together by the brothers is the Singspiel Der Dorfbarbier , music by Johann Baptist Schenk .

The village barber was performed on March 16, 1844 at a benefit evening for Johann Nestroy , together with his intermezzo Hinüber - Herüber and Eugène Scribes Burlesque The Bear and the Bassa .

Joseph Weidmann was laid out in St. Stephen's Cathedral, the funeral speech was written by the poet Ignaz Franz Castelli . Joseph's son Franz Carl Weidmann also became a well-known writer, actor, and journalist.


Web links

  • Portrait in costume of Sepp in the operetta Der Faßbinder on Amazon (accessed March 8, 2015)

Individual evidence

  1. see
  2. Report on the funeral: The collector of September 19, 1810