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Giacomo Meyerbeer

Giacomo MEYERBEER

1791 - 1864

Composer

Date of birth:
Date of death:

Born Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer into a wealthy Berlin family, the future composer of LesHuguenots decided to contract his surname, and later Italianise his first name. He began his studies with Zelter and Abbé Vogler and continued his training in Italy with Salieri. He made a name for himself with his Italian operas, particularly Romilda e Constanza (1817), Emma di Resburgo (1819), Margherita d’Anjou (1820) and Il Crociato in Egitto (1824). The latter received a triumphant premiere at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and was staged again in Paris the following year. Meyerbeer was a past master at giving French audiences what they wanted. Robert le Diable, which started life as a comic opera and was transformed into a grand opera, enjoyed huge success in 1831. Another triumph followed with Les Huguenots (1836), followed by Le Prophète (1849) and L’Africaine (which was premiered after his death in 1865). Regarded as the main exponent of grand opera (in collaboration with his librettist Scribe), Meyerbeer also composed the opéras comiques L’Étoile du Nord and Dinorah ou Le Pardon de Ploërmel, as well as the singspiel Ein Feldlager in Schlesien for Berlin (the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, appointed him Director of Music in 1842). Few musicians have won such renown in their lifetime. This success was the result of long hard work, as can be seen by Meyerbeer’s limited number of finished operas. He succeeded in combining Italian vocal techniques with French declamation and German symphonic writing. The influence of his use of sound effects and contrasts can be seen in the work of many composers, including Berlioz, Gounod, Verdi and Wagner.

Chronological milestones

1791 1864 73 ans
1831
1835
1839
1842
1846
1850
1854
1857
1861
1865
1831

Robert le Diable

Giacomo MEYERBEER / Eugène SCRIBE / Germain DELAVIGNE

1836

Les Huguenots

Giacomo MEYERBEER / Eugène SCRIBE

1849

Le Prophète

Giacomo MEYERBEER / Eugène SCRIBE

1865

L'Africaine

Giacomo MEYERBEER / Eugène SCRIBE / François-Joseph FÉTIS

1859

Le Pardon de Ploërmel

Giacomo MEYERBEER / Jules BARBIER / Michel CARRÉ

Works

L'Africaine

Giacomo MEYERBEER / Eugène SCRIBE / François-Joseph FÉTIS

1865

L’ Étoile du Nord

Giacomo MEYERBEER / Eugène SCRIBE

1854

Les Huguenots

Giacomo MEYERBEER / Eugène SCRIBE

1836

Le Pardon de Ploërmel

Giacomo MEYERBEER / Jules BARBIER / Michel CARRÉ

1859

See the 6 œuvres en lien

Documents and archives

Décor des Huguenots

Décor, Press illustration

Décor des Huguenots : 5e acte

Albert-Alvarez-en-Jean-Le-Prophete-de-Meyerbeer.jpg

Press illustration, Picture of a scene, Photograph

Albert Alvarez en Jean (Le Prophète de Meyerbeer)

Albert-Alvarez-en-Jean-Le-Prophete-de-Meyerbeer.jpg

Press illustration, Picture of a scene, Photograph

Albert Alvarez en Jean (Le Prophète de Meyerbeer)

See the 85 listed document(s)