James Robinson Planch: The Vampire

Scope and Content

Libretto of 'The Vampire: A Grand Romantic Opera freely translated from the German of Wilhelm Aug. Wohlbrck and adapted to the music of Heinrich Marschner....by J. R. Planch', 68 folios. The volume appears to be the original working copy for the production which opened on 25 August 1829 at the English Opera House, London. There are many corrections to the translation. Sketches of positions of cast and additional stage directions have been inserted in pencil. The names of the cast are on p. 1.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Robinson Planch (1796-1880), dramatist, was born in Piccadilly, London, on 27 February 1796. He received tuition from the age of eight, and was articled to a bookseller in 1810. In 1818 his burlesque Amoroso, king of Little Britain was produced at Drury Lane, London. Thereafter Planch wrote many pieces for the theatres of London. He was musical manager at Vauxhall Gardens in 1826-1827, and became manager of the Adelphi in 1830. He established connections in London with the Olympic, Covent Garden, and the Lyceum, under Madame Vestris. Planch wrote a History of British costumes in 1834, and became Somerset herald in 1866. He died at Chelsea on 30 May 1880.

Heinrich August Marschner (1795-1861), German composer, wrote operas, ensemble works and songs. His most famous works are The Vampyr (1928), Der Templer und die Jdin (1829), and Hans Heiling (1833).

Wilhelm August Wohlbrck (1795-1861), composer, was Marschner's brother-in-law, and wrote the libretto for The Vampyr.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1922.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on James Robinson Planch in Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of national biography, Vol. XV (London, 1909), pp. 1281-1283.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.