L. Meurant

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L. Meurant (17**-1826?*) was a composer and music teacher.

Occasionally also listed simply as Meurant (e.g. by F.C.L. Bosman, 1928). In some sources he is occasionally confused with L.H. Meurant, his son.


A Swiss immigrant and the father of Louis Henri Meurant (the later journalist and language activist) and Miss L. Meurant, both of whom performed in French and Dutch plays in Cape Town as children in 1825. It appear he may have arrived in the Cape round about 1809, and was certainly someone involved in French and Dutch theatre in the Cape from that time on till his death round about 1826.

Contribution to South African theatre

According to Bosman (1928, pp. 49 & 84), he was one of four important figures in the French theatre in Cape Town in the first two decades of the 19th century (the others were J.A. Rouvière, J. Riaux and François Agron). He appears to have worked with Het Fransche Liefhebbery Geselschap and individuals such as Charles Etienne Boniface, J. Riaux, François Agron and Ch. M. Villet. Bosman (1928, p. 130) maintains that the latter all appear to have kept Dutch theatre going in the period of the French occupation (1804-1809, but especially 1810-11) through their youth companies, who performed both in French and Dutch.

Specific productions mentioned include:

Les Plaideurs (Racine) on 22 February 1809, produced by

La Fantasmagorie, possibly with J. Riaux, on 2 December 1809, as afterpiece to Les Fourberies de Scapin (Molière).

Het Liefdesnest (Dutch version of Le Nid d'Amour) a new ballet and "Anacreontique", with new music composed by Meurant. Performed as an afterpiece to Le Somnambule ou Orgia (Pont-de-Vesle), by the pupils of J. Riaux on 13 October 1810, and repeated on and 27 October 1810 as an afterpiece to Le Baiser (Florian).

He was also responsible for ticket sales for (and possibly involved in) many other productions in the period 1810-11.



F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: pp. pp. 49, 84, 125-137, 171-174, 261-268, 282-297, 372.

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