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Madame Stuart

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Name  Madame Stuart

Role  Singer

C.D. Stuart, known under her stage name Madame Stuart (fl. 1772), was a ballet dancer, acrobat, tightrope-walker, singer, musician, actress, dance teacher, composer and beer brewer. She played an important part in Norwegian cultural history as a pioneer in several fields. She is one of the most known artists in 18th-century Norway, and she can be regarded as the first Norwegian ballerina. She is considered to be the first ballet dancer to perform in Oslo and Norway.

Biography

C.D. Stuart was the third spouse of the English dancer and actor Michael Stuart; Michael Stuart was known in Denmark since 1756, and when he arrived in Oslo in Norway in 1769, C.D. (whose full name is not mentioned) was his wife. In the performance in Oslo of 26 January 1770, "The Great Virtuosis Madame Stuart" sang, played instrumental music, performed acrobatics and danced ballet. Ballet had been performed in Norway the perhaps first time in 1751, but the Stuart couple is counted as the pioneers in Norwegian ballet, and the performance of Madame Stuart has been called as the perhaps first ballet performed in Oslo.

She became the perhaps most famous artist in Oslo, and usually made her performances on the city hall. She composed songs in Danish, and held charity concerts for the poor of the city. Her husband opened an inn, where he sold wine, beer and sweets; when he died soon after, she took over and sold beer she brewed herself. She opened a dance school and was active as a dance teacher. 31 January 1771, "The wellfamous Madame Stuart" performed tight-rope-walking.

On 18 July 1771, the dancer and actor Martin Nürenbach arrived in Oslo with his wife A.C. Nürenbach, and became her rival as a dancer and dance teacher, but they soon entered a companionship. On 7 October 1771 Stuart and Martin Nürenbach performed ballet, acrobatics and tight-rope-walking; Stuart sang an aria, and on the last scene, they performed as actors together. Between 1771–1772, Nürenbach ran the first public theatre in Oslo, and Stuart was probably one of his actors, whose identity is unconfirmed: they performed Jomfru Pecunia by M. Nissen together. In 1783, an Eleanore Stuart debuted as a dancer in the opera of Copenhagen, which could be the daughter of Madame Stuart.

References

Madame Stuart Wikipedia


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