Albert Lortzing (1801-1851), German composer, singer, actor and conductor, was largely self-taught and began composing while traveling in an actors' troupe through Germany. From 1833 to 1844 he was a singer and actor with a vast repertoire. In 1844/45 he was the conductor of the Stadttheater in Leipzig, and in the following year conductor at the theater in Vienna.
After he had performed several of his operas without great success, the breakthrough came with "Czar and Carpenter" in 1837. As well as further operas like "Der Wildschütz" (1842) and "Undine" (1845) he wrote an oratorio, orchestral works and songs.
Lortzing wrote all his libretti himself. Along with his sense of humor he possessed the ability to through-compose a Gesamtkunstwerk (work of art for the stage to which all the individual arts contribute under the direction of a single creative mind, in order to express one overriding idea).