Schikaneder grew up as an orphan on in Regensburg, where his mother Juliana Schiessl selling devotional in the cathedral. He attended the Jesuit College of St. Paul, received musical instruction from Johann Josef Michl Director of Music and was probably a member of the cathedral choir. Since 1773 he was a member, and later director of a theatrical touring company, the Moser 's drama society. A guest performance of his troops led him in 1780 to Salzburg, where he became friends with Leopold Mozart and so also with his son Wolfgang completed its first acquaintance.
In 1777, he married Eleonore Schikaneder ( born Maria Magdalena Arth ).
In Vienna he played from 1785 Kärntnertortheater while at the former Burgtheater. Emperor Joseph II forbade him the construction of a theater on the glacis before Kärntnertor why he went in 1787 with his theater troupe in Regensburg. In 1789 he returned to Vienna, where was in 1787 at the request of theater director Christian Rossbach the open house, a theater in what was then the largest block of flats in Vienna, the open house on the Wieden, was built. This theater was opened The stupid Anton in the mountains on July 12, 1789 the piece written by Schikaneder. On September 30, 1791 there was the premiere of his greatest success, the opera ( the Singspiel ) The Magic Flute with the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart instead. Schikaneder himself played Papageno the bird catcher, a character in the tradition of the Viennese popular theater.
The success brought so much revenue that Schikaneder was a new theater on the other side of the river Wien, Theater an der Wien build, with the help of businessman Bartholomew Zitterbarth. The old theater in the Wieden was therefore closed in 1801 and converted into rental apartments. The Theater an der Wien was born on June 13, 1801 also opened with a Schikaneder opera, namely Alexander ( music by Franz Teyber ). Schikaneder sat at his performances on elaborate decorations, effects, and much pomp.
Schikaneder ran the theater until 1804. From 1802 to 1812 belonged Schikaneder known today as Lehár Schikaneder Villa Baroque palace in Nußdorf. After 1804 he went to Brno and Steyr. As a result of war-related devaluation of 1811 he lost his remaining assets and died spiritually confused in Vienna Alsergrund.
In 1861 in Vienna Wieden ( 4th district ) was named the Schikanedergasse after him.
As Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leopold Mozart and Schikaneder was Karl Giesecke Freemasons. He was inducted into the Masonic Lodge Regensburg Carl to the three keys. His application for admission of 14 July 1788 and received is in the German Masonic Museum in Bayreuth.
He wrote 55 plays and 44 books for operas and musical comedies, including The Philosopher's Stone (1790) and The Magic Flute Zweyter Theil ( 1798).
- The Magic Flute Zweyter part under the title: The Maze or the struggle with the elements. ( Libretto of the opera by Peter von Winter ) ed. by Manuela Jahrmärker and Till Gerrit Waidelich, Tutzing 1992, ISBN 3-7952-0694-4
- Schikaneder's heroic- comic opera, The Philosopher's Stone - a model for Mozart's Magic Flute. Critical edition of the text book, ed. [ ... ] Book by David and Manuela Jahrmärker (Hain wood Musicology, vol 5), Göttingen 2002. 119 S.
In Milos Forman's film Amadeus from 1984 Schikaneder is represented by Simon Callow, one of the minor characters. A year later, Uwe Ochsenknecht Schikaneder embodied in Forget Mozart.
The 2011 film produced summer the jugglers of Bavarian director Marcus H. Rose Mueller, however, revolves entirely around Schikaneder, in particular to his trip to Salzburg in 1780 and his meeting with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The game is played by Max von Thun Schikaneder here.