Albert Lortzing

"Some of my operas bring a few pleasant hours to many honest souls. That's enough for me." So Gustav Albert Lortzing explained of his ambitions as a composer. It turned out, however, that Lortzing far outdid himself, for his music, especially his most well-known light operas, Zar und Zimmermann ("Czar and Carpenter") and Undine, continue to entertain audiences 150 years after his death. Yet this same man spent his final years in financial straits so severe that he was untreated by a doctor on the eve of his death.