Fromental Halévy

Halévy

Born: Paris, France, 27 May 1799

Died: Nice, France, 17 March 1862


Halévy was considered the leader of the French school of music from the 1830s to the 1850s.

His first great success was La Juive (1835), a powerful opera about religious persecution. Mahler, among others, considered it one of the greatest operas ever written. Today, it is almost the only opera by which Halévy is known.

Several notable successes followed. The serious works include Guido et Ginevra (1838), set in Renaissance Florence during the Plague; La Reine de Chypre (1841), admired by Wagner and Berlioz; the patriotic Charles VI (1843); and Le Juif errant, which Théophile Gautier considered an important philosophical opera.

Smash hits among the opéras comiques include L’Éclair (1835), with only four characters and a refined score; Les Mousquetaires de la Reine (1846); Le Val d’Andorre (1848), “the most brilliant total success ever recorded at the Opéra-Comique” to that point; and La Fée aux Roses (1849), a tale of sorcery and Indian exoticism.

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Works

  1. L’Artisan (1827)
  2. Le Roi et le batelier (1827)
  3. Clari (1828)
  4. Le Dilettante d’Avignon (1829)
  5. Attendre et courir (1830)
  6. La Langue musicale (1830)
  7. La Tentation (1832)
  8. Les Souvenirs de Lafleur (1833)
  9. Ludovic (1833; completion of opera by Herold)
  10. La Juive (1835)
  11. L’Éclair (1835)
  12. Guido et Ginevra (1838)
  13. Les Treize (1839)
  14. Le Shérif (1839)
  15. Le Drapier (1840)
  16. Le Guitarrero (1841)
  17. La Reine de Chypre (1841)
  18. Charles VI (1843)
  19. Le Lazzarone (1844)
  20. Les Mousquetaires de la reine (1846)
  21. Le Val d’Andorre (1848)
  22. La Fée aux roses (1849)
  23. La Tempesta (1850)
  24. La Dame de pique (1850)
  25. Le Juif errant (1852)
  26. Le Nabab (1853)
  27. Jaguarita l’Indienne (1855)
  28. L’Inconsolable (1855)
  29. Valentine d’Aubigny (1856)
  30. La Magicienne (1858)
  31. Noé (1885; completed by Bizet)