27th April 1812
24th January 1883
Teutendorf, in Mecklenburg, Germany
Friedrich von Flotow was a German composer. He is chiefly remembered for his opera Martha, which was popular in the 19th century. Flotow was born in Teutendorf, in Mecklenburg, into an aristocratic family. He studied at the Conservatoire de Paris and came under the influence of Auber, Rossini, Meyerbeer, Donizetti, Halévy, and later Gounod and Offenbach. These influences are reflected in his operas, where a distinctive French opéra comique flavour exists. He completed his first opera in 1835, Pierre et Cathérine, but his breakthrough came with Le naufrage de la Méduse (1839), based on the wreck of the warship Méduse. The three-act romantic opera Alessandro Stradella of 1844 is recognized as one of Flotow's finer works. Martha was first staged in Vienna at the Theater am Kärntnertor on 25 November 1847.