Richard Genée

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Portrait of Richard Genée

Franz Friedrich Richard Genée (February 7, 1823 – June 15, 1895) was a Prussian born Austrian librettist, playwright, and composer. He is most famous for the libretto of Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss II's most famous operetta. He co-wrote the libretto without having met top-billed librettist Karl Haffner (de), who constructed the new story based on a play by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, which was considered too shocking to perform outside Paris. Genée, however, wrote the operetta's actual text and drew nothing from Haffner beyond the names of the characters.[1]

Genée was born in Danzig. One of his best-known works was the libretto of Karl Millöcker's operetta Der Bettelstudent, which he co-wrote with Friedrich Zell (the pseudonym of Camillo Walzel). He also wrote the libretto to Ella Adayevskaya's 1877 opera Zarya. In 1857 he was conductor of the philharmonic orchestra In Mainz.

In 1876, Genée composed the operetta Der Seekadet. The operetta featured a game of chess in its second act and later lent its name to the chess opening trap found in the match the Seekadettenmatt (German for naval cadet mate). The move is usually known in English as the Légal Trap. He died at Baden bei Wien.



  1. ^ Andrew Lamb. Liner Notes, Die Fledermaus, EMI/Angel Records, 1986

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