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GALLET, Louis (1835-1898)

A key figure in the history of French opera, Louis Gallet was born in Valence (Drôme) in 1835 and died in Paris in 1898. From a young age, he nurtured a passion for writing while teaching at the choir school at Valence Cathedral, then working as a printer’s proof-reader. He began publishing under various pseudonyms and ventured into journalism with the foundation of the periodical, Le Rôdeur, in which he published poetry, stories and drama reviews under different pen names. In 1857, he moved to Paris where, until 1867, he continued to publish short stories and novels in various journals, although he remained outside literary circles. To support his family, he entered the Assistance Publique, making his way up the ranks to reach the grade of Inspector General. 1868 was a pivotal year in his career: he wrote, with Édouard Blau, La Coupe du roi de Thulé, an opera libretto which won the competition organised by the Ministère des Beaux-Arts. From then on, Gallet made a name as one of the most prominent figures in French opera, going on to collaborate with a number of the leading composers of his time. Although he wrote Djamileh (1872) set to music by Bizet, his name was particularly closely associated with Saint-Saëns, for whom he penned La Princesse jaune (1872), Étienne Marcel (1879), Proserpine (1887), Ascanio (1890) and Déjanire (1898 and 1911). Gallet was also the author of numerous oratorio texts, including the unfinished work by Bizet, Geneviève (1875), and Massenet’s Marie-Magdalène and Ève (1873 and 1875).

    Images - 34
  • Louis Gallet
  • Affiche pour Ascanio (Gallet / Saint-Saëns)
  • Affiche pour L'Attaque du moulin (Gallet / Bruneau)
  • Affiche pour L'Attaque du moulin (Gallet / Bruneau)
  • Affiche pour Lancelot (Blau & Gallet / Joncières)
  • Affiche pour Le Chevalier Jean (Blau & Gallet / Joncières)
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    Works - 31
  • Ascanio (Gallet / Saint-Saëns)
  • Attaque du moulin, L’ (Gallet / Bruneau)
  • Chevalier Jean, Le (Blau & Gallet / Joncières)
  • Cid, Le (Ennery & Gallet & Blau / Massenet)
  • Cinq-Mars (Poirson & Gallet / Gounod)
  • Clé d'or, La (Feuillet & Gallet / Gautier)
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    Studies - 5
  • Condé, Gérard – Cinq-Mars, a total rediscovery
  • Giroud, Vincent – Le dernier opéra de Saint-Saëns : Déjanire
  • Leteuré, Stéphane – Djamileh de Bizet et La Princesse jaune de Saint-Saëns, compagnes d'infortune
  • Teulon Lardic, Sabine – Réinventer la tragédie « à l’antique » : Déjanire dans les arènes de Béziers
  • Troester, Sébastien – The different versions of Cinq-Mars
  • Librettos - 6
  • Cinq-Mars (P. Poirson & L. Gallet)
  • Déjanire (Gallet & Saint-Saëns)
  • Djamileh (Louis Gallet)
  • Frédégonde (Louis Gallet)
  • Princesse jaune, La (Louis Gallet)
  • Proserpine (Louis Gallet)
  • Press articles -  3
  • Le Ménestrel, 11 mars 1894 [Thaïs de Massenet]
  • La Nouvelle Revue, 1895, p. 884-887 [La Montagne noire d’Holmès]
  • Le Journal, 11 décembre 1895 [Frédégonde de Guiraud et Saint-Saëns]