The Development of National Theatres in Europe in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

  • S. E. Wilmer
Part of the Studies in International Performance book series (STUDINPERF)


Since the seventeenth century, hundreds of National Theatres have been established throughout Europe and the process is still going on with new National Theatres being created in the last decade, for example, in Spain, Hungary, Slovenia, and Scotland. In this chapter I want to review the general movement that led to the creation of National Theatres, the ideologies that underlay it, and some of the processes inherent in it. I want to look first at their origins in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and then consider more closely the nineteenth-century developments that were allied to the rise of nationalism.


Eighteenth Century National Identity Late Eighteenth Century National Theatre Vernacular Language 
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  1. 5.
    See Heinz Kindermann (1965), Theatergeschichte Europas, 10 vols (Salzburg: Otto Müller Verlag), Vol. IV, p. 478.Google Scholar
  2. 18.
    See Johann Gottfried Herder (1877), Sämmtliche Werke, ed. Bernhard Suphan (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung), Vol. 9, pp. 525–529.Google Scholar
  3. 27.
    See Stanley Sadie (ed.) (1997), New Grove Dictionary of Opera (London and New York: Macmillan), Vol. IV, p. 1056.Google Scholar

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© S. E. Wilmer 2008

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  • S. E. Wilmer

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