Carl Zeller (1842 – 1898). As a boy, Carl Zeller was an almost ludicrously promising musician: he had a superb singing voice, and could play several instruments brilliantly. However, realizing that finding work as a musician would be difficult at best, he obtained a doctorate in law and joined the German Ministry of Education and Culture. Zeller made a point of finding time to compose, and his operetta Der Vogelhandler was one of the most popular Viennese stage works of the 1890s. Unfortunately, legal troubles derailed Zeller’s career at the ministry, and he sank slowly into insanity.
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