Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Pizarro

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First performed on 24 May 1799 at London’s Drury Lane theatre, Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s operatic drama


was a phenomenal success in its day. Freely adapted from an English translation of the German dramatist August von Kotzebue’s

Die Spanier in Peru

(1796), and focused on the conquest of Peru by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro (


. 1475 – 1541), the play delighted the public with its steady appeal to patriotic and humanitarian sympathies, spectacular stage designs, and stirring music. Despite some criticisms that it lacked literary merit,


remained in the repertoire for some sixty years. Exported to the American stage, it enjoyed a successful run for much of the nineteenth century.

After a twenty-year break during which he had devoted himself to his

1851 words

Citation: Fachard, Alexandre. "Pizarro". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 May 2011 [, accessed 18 May 2024.]

2778 Pizarro 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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