Dawison, Bogumil


Dawison, Bogumil
(1818-1872)
   Actor. Dawison was among the most celebrated of the virtuosi in the mid-1800s and the first Jewish actor to play Shylock in the German theater. Dawison was born in Warsaw, Poland, and worked for many years there as a newspaper clerk, teaching himself German and French. He made his first stage appearance in 1837 at a small Warsaw theater, where a touring troupe of German actors saw his performances and convinced him to study acting in Berlin. Dawison made his German-language debut in 1841 and by 1846 had been hired as an actor at the Breslau City Theater. Critics and audiences both praised his work in Breslau, where he got his first leading roles. From Breslau he went to the Hamburg Thalia Theater and later to the Burgtheater in Vienna. At the Burg in 1849, his breakthrough to stardom came in Otto Ludwig's The Hereditary Forester. He then went to the Dresden Court Theater and competed directly with Emil Devrient, whose restrained style was in stark contrast to Dawison's. Dawison's national reputation had reached its peak by 1865, and thereafter he mostly toured. His most successful tours were in America, where he did lengthy runs in New York. His performances in bilingual productions with Edwin Booth attracted unprecedented publicity in the English-language press of New York and got Dawison several offers to remain in America for months, earning him more money than any German performer before him. His emotion-laden, unpredictable renderings of Shakespearean characters were perhaps his most popular attribute, making him similar in many ways to Ludwig Devrient.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Bogumil Dawison — (1818 1 February 1872) was a German actor.He was born at Warsaw, of Jewish parents, and at the age of nineteen went on the stage. In 1839 he received an appointment to the theatre at Lemberg in Galicia. In 1847 he played at Hamburg with marked… …   Wikipedia


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