Alexander Reinagle


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(1756?–1809), manager and composer. The son of an Austrian musician, he was born and raised in Portsmouth, England, then at eighteen moved to Edinburgh where he studied with Raynor Taylor. Reinagle came to America in 1786 and settled in Philadelphia. By 1791 he was a respected composer and teacher with strong ties to local theatre and so found substantial support among Philadelphians when he joined with the actor Thomas Wignell to build what became the Chestnut Street Theatre. The house was opened in 1794 and for the remainder of his career he was active in its management. He also adopted many English ballad operas for local audiences, composed incidental music for other plays, and wrote the score for several light operas, notably The Sicilian Romance (1795).

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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