Raimund, Ferdinand eigentlich F. J. Raimann#
b. Vienna, June 1, 1790, d. Pottenstein (Lower Austria), Sept. 5, 1836 (from the effects of a suicide attempt), actor, playwright (fantasy and magical plays), "classics" of the old Viennese Volkstheater tradition. Came into contact with the Burgtheater as a seller of baker's wares, from 1808 he worked with touring companies and achieved a breakthrough 1814-1817 at the Theater in der Josefstadt. From 1817 at the Theater in der Leopoldstadt, 1823 immediately won recognition as an author with the magical play "Der Barometermacher auf der Zauberinsel". From 1821 he was director, 1828-1830 manager of the Theater in der Leopoldstadt. 1828 with "Der Alpenkoenig and der Menschenfeind" celebrated his greatest success as an author and actor ("Rappelkopf"). The "Verschwender" (1834) also proved extremely successful. His private life was marked by unhappiness. A marriage with his beloved Toni Wagner was refused by her parents, his marriage with Louise Gleich lasted only 2 years. The relationship with Toni Wagner which followed was not very harmonious. R. suffered increasingly from depression and in 1836, in fear of having contracted rabies from a dog bite, he attempted suicide and died a few days afterwards from the effects.
In his works R. expressed human warmth and values and combined local characteristics with poetic expertise, humour with melancholy, realistic presentation of the social classes with Baroque magical stage-effects. A fairy-tale world and moral allegories characterised his popular plays. His plays advocate Biedermeier values (loyalty, gratitude, moderation, contentment).The musical interludes were composed by W. Mueller, J. Drechsler and K. Kreutzer; some of the melodies became "classics" and were written by R. himself ("Bruederlein fein").
Works#magical and phantasy plays: Der Barometermacher auf der Zauberinsel, 1823; Der Diamant des Geisterkoenigs, 1824; Das Maedchen aus der Feenwelt oder Der Bauer als Millionaer, 1826; Moisasurs Zauberfluch, 1827; Der Alpenkoenig und der Menschenfeind, 1828; Die gefesselte Phantasie, 1828; Die unheilbringende Krone, 1829; Der Verschwender, 1834. - Editions: Saemtliche Werke. Annotated anniversary edition in 6 vols., ed. by F. Brukner and E. Castle, 1924-1934 (reprint 1974); Liebesbriefe, ed. by F. Brukner, 1914.
Literature#O. Rommel, F. R. und die Vollendung des Alt-Wr. Zauberstuecks, 1947; J. Hein, F. R., 1970; G. Wiltschko, R. Dramaturgie, 1973; R. Wagner, F. R., Eine Biographie, 1985; G. Riedl, R. Bilder aus einem Theaterleben, 1990; W. Deutschmann and R. Wagner (ed.), Es ist ewig schad' um mich, exhibition catalogue, Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, 1996.