Giacomo Meyerbeer

by Violaine Anger

This new volume from the Horizons collection, released in february 2017 by the Editions Bleu Nuit, offers us to meet a master of the French “Grand Opera”, forsaken and misknowned.

Born in Berlin into a rich Jewish family, Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) performs his first concerts in public at the age of 10. He learns composition with Zeller and has Carl-Maria von Weber as a classmate. He left for Italy to improve his learning, and italianized his name there, where he becomes successful in La Fenice of Venice in 1824 with Il Crociato in Egitto.

Settled in Paris, he creates Robert le Diable (1824) which establishes, following Fernand Cortez by Spontini (1774-1851), the foundations of the french Grand Opéra, of which the composer will be the best ambassador in the world. The success is confirmed four years later with the same librettist, Eugène Scribe, in Les Huguenots.

Appointed musical director of the Prussian court in Berlin, Meyerbeer will never get the aknowledgement of his German peers. He came back to present Le Prophète (1849), and died in Paris before the creation of his last opera, l’Africaine.

The author
Former teacher of History of Music at the Paris National Music School (CNSM), Violaine Anger is a lecturer at the university of Evry Val-d’Essonne and associate lecturer at the Polytechnique School.
Her research focuses on language and music. She wrote the Sens de la musique (Presses de la rue d’Ulm, Paris, 2006), and many other articles.

Purchase the book
Read Meyerbeer’s biography and browse his works of Jewish inspiration

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