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Winter, Peter

WINTER, PETER (c. 1755-1825), German dramatic composer, was born at Mannheim about 1755. 'He received some instruction from the Abt Vogler, but was practically self-taught. After playing in the Kapelle of the Elector Karl Theodor, at Munich, he became in 1776 director of the court theatre. When Mozart produced his Idomeneo at Munich in 1781, Winter, annoyed at his success, conceived a violent hatred for him; yet of more than thirty operas written by Winter between 1778 and 1820 very few were unsuccessful. His most popular work, Das unterbrochene Opferfest, was produced in 1796 at Vienna, where in 1797-1798 he composed Die Pyramiden von Babylon and Das Labyrinth, both written for him by Schickaneder in continuation of the story of Mozart's Zauberflote. He returned to Munich in 1798. Five years later he visited London, where he produced Calypso in 1803, Proserpina in 1804, and Zaira in i8os, with great success. His last opera, Sanger und Schneider, was produced in 1820 at Munich, where he died on the 17th of October 1825. Besides his dramatic works he composed some effective sacred music, including twenty-six masses.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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