Daniel François Esprit Auber was a French composer. The son of a Paris print-seller, Auber was born in Caen in Normandy. Though his father expected him to continue in the print-selling business, he allowed his son to learn how to play several musical instruments, his first teacher was the Tirolean composer, Josef Alois Ladurner. At the age of 20 Auber was sent to London for business training, but he was obliged to leave England in 1804 when the Treaty of Amiens was breached. Auber had attempted musical composition, at this period produced several concertos pour basse, modelled after the violoncellist Lamare, in whose name they were published; the praise given to his concerto for the violin, played at the Paris Conservatoire by Mazas, encouraged him to undertake a resetting of an old comic opera, Julie. He began to study with the renowned Luigi Cherubini. In 1813 the unfavourable reception of his one-act debut opera Le Séjour militaire put an end for some years to his attempts as composer, but his failure in business, the death of his father in 1819, compelled him once more to turn to music.
He produced another opera, Le Testament et les billets-doux, no better received than the former. But he persevered, the next year was rewarded by the complete success of La Bergère châtelaine, an opera in three acts; this was the first in a long series of brilliant successes. In 1822 began his long association with librettist Eugène Scribe, their first opera, shows evidence of the influence of Gioachino Rossini in its musical style. Auber soon developed his own voice, however: light, vivacious and melodious—characteristically French. Le maçon was his first major triumph, staying in the repertory until the 20th century, with 525 performances at the Opéra-Comique alone. An ensemble from the latter found its way into Herold's ballet La Somnambule as an air parlante. Auber achieved another triumph in La muette de Portici known as Masaniello after its hero. Produced in Paris in 1828, it became a European favourite, the foundation work of a new genre, grand opera, consolidated by Rossini's Guillaume Tell the following year.
Its characteristic features are a private drama staged in the context of a significant historical event in which the chorus is engaged as a representative of the people and piquant musical textures, grandiloquent marches, spectacular scenic effects and a statutory ballet. The duet from La Muette, Amour sacré de la patrie, was welcomed as a new Marseillaise. La Muette broke ground in its use of a ballerina in a leading role, includes long passages of mime music. Official and other dignities testified to the public appreciation of Auber's works. In 1829 he was elected a member of the Institut de France. Fra Diavolo,which premiered on 28 January 1830, was his most successful opera; that same year, 1830, he was named director of the court concerts. Next year, on 20 June 1831, he had another big success, with Le Philtre, starring Adolphe Nourrit; the libretto was translated into Italian and set by Donizetti as L'elisir d'amore, one of the most successful comic operas of all time. Two years on 27 February 1833, Gustave III, his second grand opera triumphed and stayed in the repertory for years.
The libretto was to be used twice more, first by Saverio Mercadante for Il reggente, with the action transferred to Scotland, next by Giuseppe Verdi, as Un ballo in maschera, with the action transferred to Massachusetts. He enjoyed several more successes, all at the Opéra-Comique; these were Le cheval de bronze, L'Ambassadrice, Le domino noir, Les diamants de la couronne and La part du diable. In the meantime, in 1842, at the wish of King Louis Philippe, he succeeded Cherubini as director of the Conservatoire. Auber was a member of the Legion of Honour from 1825, attained the rank of commander in 1847; that year saw the premiere of Haydée, another opéra comique though it was on a serious subject. The tenor lead in Haydée was sung by the same Gustave-Hippolyte Roger who, two years created the title role in Giacomo Meyerbeer's Le prophète at the Opéra. Napoleon III made Auber his Imperial Maître de Chapelle in 1857. In his years, Auber's output slowed down considerably; the 1850s were marked by Manon Lescaut, an opéra comique with a tragic end, revisions of Le cheval de bronze and Fra Diavolo.
He had one major success in the 1860s: Le premier jour de bonheur. Despite his slowdown in composing, he remained a well-loved figure, known for witty sayings and personal generosity, he survived the German siege of Paris in 1870–71, but died during the upheaval of the Paris Commune on 12 or 13 May 1871. Today, the rue Auber leads up to the original Paris Opera House and the nearest RER station is called Auber. List of works by James Pradier Bust of Auber SourcesDaniel Auber at Find a Grave Kohut, Auber, in Musiker Biographien Leipzig, Volume XVII, 1895. Free scores by Daniel Auber at the International Music Score Library Project Free scores by Daniel Auber in the Choral Public Domain Library
Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most staged are Manon and Werther, he composed oratorios, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces and other music. While still a schoolboy, Massenet was admitted to France's principal music college, the Paris Conservatoire. There he studied under Ambroise Thomas, whom he admired. After winning the country's top musical prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1863, he composed prolifically in many genres, but became best known for his operas. Between 1867 and his death forty-five years he wrote more than forty stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra-comique to grand-scale depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies, lyric dramas, as well as oratorios and ballets. Massenet had a good sense of what would succeed with the Parisian public. Despite some miscalculations, he produced a series of successes that made him the leading composer of opera in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Like many prominent French composers of the period, Massenet became a professor at the Conservatoire. He taught composition there from 1878 until 1896, when he resigned after the death of the director, Ambroise Thomas. Among his students were Gustave Charpentier, Ernest Chausson, Reynaldo Hahn and Gabriel Pierné. By the time of his death, Massenet was regarded by many critics as old-fashioned and unadventurous although his two best-known operas remained popular in France and abroad. After a few decades of neglect, his works began to be favourably reassessed during the mid-20th century, many of them have since been staged and recorded. Although critics do not rank him among the handful of outstanding operatic geniuses such as Mozart and Wagner, his operas are now accepted as well-crafted and intelligent products of the Belle Époque. Massenet was born at Montaud an outlying hamlet and now a part of the city of Saint-Étienne, in the Loire, he was the youngest of the four children of Alexis Massenet and his second wife Eléonore-Adelaïde née Royer de Marancour.
Massenet senior was a prosperous ironmonger. By early 1848 the family had moved to Paris. Massenet was educated at the Lycée Saint-Louis and, from either 1851 or 1853, the Paris Conservatoire. According to his colourful but unreliable memoirs, Massenet auditioned in October 1851, when he was nine, before a judging panel comprising Daniel Auber, Fromental Halévy, Ambroise Thomas and Michele Carafa, was admitted at once, his biographer Demar Irvine dates the audition and admission as January 1853. Both sources agree that Massenet continued his general education at the lycée in tandem with his musical studies. At the Conservatoire Massenet studied solfège with Augustin Savard and the piano with François Laurent, he pursued his studies, with modest distinction, until the beginning of 1855, when family concerns disrupted his education. Alexis Massenet's health was poor, on medical advice he moved from Paris to Chambéry in the south of France. Again, Massenet's own memoirs and the researches of his biographers are at variance: the composer recalled his exile in Chambéry as lasting for two years.
On his return he resumed his studies. The family's finances were no longer comfortable, to support himself Massenet took private piano students and played as a percussionist in theatre orchestras, his work in the orchestra pit gave him a good working knowledge of the operas of Gounod and other composers and contemporary. Traditionally, many students at the Conservatoire went on to substantial careers as church organists, he gained some work as a piano accompanist, in the course of which he met Wagner who, along with Berlioz, was one of his two musical heroes. In 1861 Massenet's music was published for the first time, the Grande Fantasie de Concert sur le Pardon de Ploërmel de Meyerbeer, a virtuoso piano work in nine sections. Having graduated to the composition class under Ambroise Thomas, Massenet was entered for the Conservatoire's top musical honour, the Prix de Rome, previous winners of which included Berlioz, Thomas and Bizet; the first two of these were on the judging panel for the 1863 competition.
All the competitors had to set the same text by a cantata about David Rizzio. He recalled: Ambroise Thomas, my beloved master, came towards me and said, "Embrace Berlioz, you owe him a great deal for your prize." "The prize," I cried, bewildered, my face shining with joy. "I have the prize!!!" I was moved and I embraced Berlioz my master, Monsieur Auber. Monsieur Auber comforted me. Did I need comforting? He said to Berlioz pointing to me, "He'll go far, the young rascal, when he's had less experience!" The prize brought a well-subsidised three-year period of study, two-thirds of, spent at the French Academy in Rome, based at the Villa Medici. At that time the academy was dominated by painters rather than musicians.
Manon Lescaut is a novel by French author Antoine François Prévost. Published in 1731, it is the seventh and final volume of Mémoires et aventures d'un homme de qualité, it was banned in France upon publication. Despite this, it became popular and pirated editions were distributed. In a subsequent 1753 edition, the Abbé Prévost toned down some scandalous details and injected more moralizing disclaimers. Set in France and Louisiana in the early 18th century, the story follows the hero, the Chevalier des Grieux, his lover, Manon Lescaut. Des Grieux comes from a noble and landed family, but forfeits his hereditary wealth and incurs the disappointment of his father by running away with Manon. In Paris, the young lovers enjoy a blissful cohabitation, while Des Grieux struggles to satisfy Manon's taste for luxury, he scrounges together money by borrowing from his unwaveringly loyal friend Tiberge and by cheating gamblers. On several occasions, Des Grieux's wealth evaporates, prompting Manon to leave him for a richer man because she cannot stand the thought of living in penury.
The two lovers end up in New Orleans, to which Manon has been deported as a prostitute, where they pretend to be married and live in idyllic peace for a while. But when Des Grieux reveals their unmarried state to the Governor and asks to be wed with Manon, the Governor's nephew sets his sights on winning Manon's hand. In despair, Des Grieux knocks him unconscious. Thinking he had killed the man and fearing retribution, the couple flee New Orleans and venture into the wilderness of Louisiana, hoping to reach an English settlement. Manon dies of exposure and exhaustion the following morning and, after burying his beloved, Des Grieux is taken back to France by Tiberge. In the novel The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas fils, Manon Lescaut is an all-important model and point of comparison for Marguerite's life and death. In the opening pages, the narrator encounters a copy of Manon Lescaut in the auction of Marguerite Gautier's estate, buys it, he reflects that Marguerite died alone in a "sumptuous bed" and Manon in the desert in her lover's arms, concluding that the former is worse, for Marguerite died "in that desert of the heart, a more barren, a vaster, a more pitiless desert than that in which Manon had found her last resting-place".
The narrator learns this copy of Manon Lescaut was a gift from Armand to Marguerite, Armand telling him that she read the story "over and over again", making notes in the margins and "declar that when a woman loves, she can not do as Manon did". In Act I of Dumas's play The Lady of the Camellias, the characters attend a performance of the ballet Manon Lescaut. In chapter 2 of Saul Bellow's novel The Adventures of Augie March, Manon is one of the novels that Grandma Lausch reads. In chapter 4 of Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian leafs through a copy of Manon Lescaut while waiting for Lord Henry. In Book II chapter 28 of Stendhal's novel The Red and the Black and the woman he pretends to court, Madame de Fervaques, watch the opera Manon Lescaut while Julien is thinking about his other lovers, Madame de Rênal and Mathilde de la Mole. Michael Fane, the hero of Compton Mackenzie's novel Sinister Street, reads Manon Lescaut just before plunging into his own hopeless pursuit of a "fallen woman".
In the first letter of Ivan Turgenev's short tale "Faust", the epistle writer mentions a portrait, seen as a portrait of Manon Lescaut. In Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs, the masochistic hero Severin refers approvingly to the Chevalier's love for Manon after she has left him for another man. In a short story written by French author Guy de Maupassant entitled "Doubtful Happiness", Manon Lescaut is referenced by a character in the story as the counterpart or model for his estranged girlfriend in Paris, named Jeanne de Limours. Manon features in the first poem of the Czech Decadent Karel Hlaváček's classic Symbolist cycle, Mstivá kantiléna, she is weak and weary, hungry for food for sexual fulfilment. The poet addresses her in a rough, hoarse voice, informing her that this is no longer her timid abbe speaking to her. Aleksandr Kuprin's 1915 Russian classic novel of prostitution, Yama: The Pit, contains a section in which the students bringing culture to the reformed prostitute Liubka read Manon Lescaut aloud to her, moving Liubka to tearfully threaten Manon for her lack of commitment to Des Grieux.
Czech poet Vítězslav Nezval wrote an adaptation of Manon Lescaut in the form of a verse drama. Nezval's version was written in the year 1940 for the theatre of Emil František Burian. In Czech literature it is traditionally considered as better than Prévost's original and as one of Nezval's masterpieces. Nezval's drama has seven acts, the centre of each of, a ballade. Manon Lescaut is still read in Nezval's version, it was adapted to film. Thomas Pynchon refers to Puccini's Des Grieux a number of times in his early short story "Under the Rose", found in his Slow Learner collection, as well as in V. North Gladiola, a 1985 novel by James Wilcox, opens with a reference to Manon Lescaut, mentions the character again in the text; the title of the novel is paraphrased in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake at 203.21 as "Nanon L'Escaut", which refers to the 17th-century French courtesan Ninon de l'Enclos and to the Escaut River. In the novel Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry
Sir Kenneth MacMillan was a British ballet dancer and choreographer, artistic director of the Royal Ballet in London between 1970 and 1977, its principal choreographer from 1977 until his death. Earlier he had served as director of ballet for the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, he was associate director of the American Ballet Theatre from 1984 to 1989, artistic associate of the Houston Ballet from 1989 to 1992. From a family with no background of ballet or music, MacMillan was determined from an early age to become a dancer; the director of Sadler's Wells Ballet, Ninette de Valois, accepted him as a student and a member of her company. In the late 1940s, MacMillan built a successful career as a dancer, plagued by stage fright, he abandoned it while still in his twenties. After this he worked as a choreographer. In addition to his work for ballet companies he was active in television, non-musical drama, opera. Although he is associated with the Royal Ballet, MacMillan considered himself an outsider there and felt driven to work with other companies throughout his career as choreographer.
His creations for the Stuttgart Ballet and the Deutsche Opera ballet include some of his most revived works. MacMillan was born in Dunfermline, the youngest of four surviving children of William MacMillan, a labourer and, from time to time and his wife, Edith née Shreeve, his father had served in the army in the First World War, suffered permanent physical and mental damage. In search of work he moved with his family to Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. After attending a local primary school, Kenneth studied from 1940 at Great Yarmouth Grammar School, to which he won a scholarship; as Great Yarmouth was a target for German air raids in the Second World War, the school was evacuated to Retford in Nottinghamshire. In Retford, MacMillan was introduced to ballet by Jean Thomas, he had had lessons in Scottish dancing in Dunfermline and tap dancing in Great Yarmouth, he took to ballet immediately. In 1942 his mother died, which caused him lasting distress, his father was a distant figure, the boy's only close family relationship was with an elder sister.
His obituarist in The Times suggests that the feeling of being an outsider, displayed in many of MacMillan's ballets, had its roots in his childhood. When the grammar school returned to Great Yarmouth in 1944 MacMillan found a new ballet teacher, Phyllis Adams. With her help, MacMillan, aged fifteen, secured admission to the Sadler's Wells Ballet School, he saw his first performances of ballets, given by Ninette de Valois' Sadler's Wells company, at the New Theatre in London. When David Webster was appointed chief executive of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden at the end of the war, his assignment was to establish permanent opera and ballet companies for the house, he set about building the opera company from scratch but persuaded de Valois to make Covent Garden the main base for her ballet company. In 1946, while still a student, MacMillan appeared in the production of The Sleeping Beauty with which Webster and de Valois reopened the opera house. At first he was a non-dancing extra, he was promoted to a small dancing role.
With the main company now resident at Covent Garden, de Valois established a smaller ensemble to perform at Sadler's Wells and act as a training ground for young dancers and choreographers. In April 1946 MacMillan was a founder member, made progress, he was cast by Frederick Ashton, de Valois' principal choreographer, in a leading role in a new ballet, Valses nobles et sentimentales, in October 1946. The success of the piece encouraged Ashton to revive his 1933 Les Rendezvous. Although only in the corps de ballet for this work, MacMillan was unexpectedly promoted to the male lead because of injuries to all the eligible company principals, his biographer Jann Parry comments that he was able to take over without notice because he had a rare ability to remember and reproduce the steps of every dancer in any piece in which he appeared. He was promoted to the senior Covent Garden company at the start of the 1948–49 season, touring in Europe and dancing Florestan in the third act pas de trois of The Sleeping Beauty in the company's opening gala in New York in October 1949.
The first new role he created was The Great Admirer of Mademoiselle Piquant in John Cranko's ballet Children's Corner, followed by both Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty in Margaret Dale's The Great Detective, Moondog in Cranko's The Lady and the Fool. Despite his rise within the company, MacMillan became unhappy as a performer, he suffered from severe stage fright, his leading roles became an ordeal for him. De Valois gave him three months' leave of absence, during which he spent some time dancing with his friend John Cranko's small group in the little Kenton Theatre, away from the spotlight, in Henley-on-Thames. Cranko, himself a former dancer who had moved to choreography, concluded that MacMillan might well follow the same course; when MacMillan returned to work, his confidence as a dancer somewhat restored, he took part in de Valois' new Choreographers Group, set up in response to Marie Rambert's "Ballet Workshops". For this group, MacMillan choreographed his first ballet, first given on 1 February 1953.
It was well received, the next year he followed with another small-scale work, Laiderette. This introduced the "outsider" character that became a hallmark of his ballets, in this case a female clown who attends a ball at which her host falls in love with
Tristan und Isolde
Tristan und Isolde is an opera, or music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based on the 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but called it "eine Handlung", the equivalent of the term used by the Spanish playwright Calderón for his dramas. Wagner's composition of Tristan und Isolde was inspired by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, as well as by Wagner's affair with Mathilde Wesendonck. Acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertoire, Tristan was notable for Wagner's unprecedented use of chromaticism, tonal ambiguity, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension; the opera was enormously influential among Western classical composers and provided direct inspiration to composers such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Karol Szymanowski, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg and Benjamin Britten.
Other composers like Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky formulated their styles in contrast to Wagner's musical legacy. Many see Tristan as the beginning of the move away from common practice harmony and tonality and consider that it lays the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century. Both Wagner's libretto style and music were profoundly influential on the symbolist poets of the late 19th century and early 20th century. Wagner was forced to abandon his position as conductor of the Dresden Opera in 1849, as there was a warrant posted for his arrest for his participation in the unsuccessful May Revolution, he left his wife, Minna, in Dresden, fled to Zürich. There, in 1852, he met the wealthy silk trader Otto Wesendonck. Wesendonck bankrolled the composer for several years. Wesendonck's wife, became enamoured of the composer. Though Wagner was working on his epic Der Ring des Nibelungen, he found himself intrigued by the legend of Tristan and Isolde; the re-discovery of medieval Germanic poetry, including Gottfried von Strassburg's version of Tristan, the Nibelungenlied and Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, left a large impact on the German Romantic movements during the mid-19th century.
The story of Tristan and Isolde is a quintessential romance of the Renaissance. Several versions of the story exist, the earliest dating to the middle of the 12th century. Gottfried's version, part of the "courtly" branch of the legend, had a huge influence on German literature. According to his autobiography, Mein Leben, Wagner decided to dramatise the Tristan legend after his friend, Karl Ritter, attempted to do so, writing that: He had, in fact, made a point of giving prominence to the lighter phases of the romance, whereas it was its all-pervading tragedy that impressed me so that I felt convinced it should stand out in bold relief, regardless of minor details; this influence, together with his discovery of the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer in October 1854, led Wagner to find himself in a "serious mood created by Schopenhauer, trying to find ecstatic expression. It was some such mood that inspired the conception of a Tristan und Isolde." Wagner wrote of his preoccupations with Schopenhauer and Tristan in a letter to Franz Liszt: Never in my life having enjoyed the true happiness of love I shall erect a memorial to this loveliest of all dreams in which, from the first to the last, love shall, for once, find utter repletion.
I have devised in my mind a Tristan und Isolde, the simplest, yet most full-blooded musical conception imaginable, with the ‘black flag’ that waves at the end I shall cover myself over – to die. By the end of 1854, Wagner had sketched out all three acts of an opera on the Tristan theme, based on Gottfried von Strassburg's telling of the story. While the earliest extant sketches date from December 1856, it was not until August 1857 that Wagner began devoting his attention to the opera, putting aside the composition of Siegfried to do so. On 20 August he began the prose sketch for the opera, the libretto was completed by September 18. Wagner, at this time, had moved into a cottage built in the grounds of Wesendonck's villa, during his work on Tristan und Isolde, he became passionately involved with Mathilde Wesendonck. Whether or not this relationship was platonic remains uncertain. One evening in September of that year, Wagner read the finished poem of "Tristan" to an audience including his wife, his current muse and his future mistress, Cosima von Bülow.
By October 1857, Wagner had begun the composition sketch of the first act. During November, however, he set five of Mathilde's poems to music known today as the Wesendonck Lieder; this was an unusual move by Wagner, who never set to music poetic texts other than his own. Wagner described two of the songs – "Im Treibhaus" and "Träume" – as "Studies for Tristan und Isolde": "Träume" uses a motif that forms the love duet in act 2 of Tristan, while "Im Treibhaus" introduces a theme that became the prelude to act 3, but Wagner resolved to write Tristan only after he had secured a publishing deal with the Leipzig-based firm Breitkopf & Härtel, in January 1858. From this point on, Wagner finished each act and sent it off for engraving before he started on the next – a remarkable feat given the unprecedented length and complexity of the score. In April 1858 Wagner's wife Minna intercepted a note from Wagner to Mathilde and, despite Wagner's
Philippe Chaperon was a French painter and scenic designer known for his work at the Paris Opera. He produced stage designs for the premieres of numerous 19th-century operas, including Verdi's Don Carlos and Aida, Massenet's Le Cid, Saint-Saëns's Henri VIII, part two of Berlioz's Les Troyens and the first performances in France of Verdi's Otello and Rigoletto and Wagner's Tannhäuser. Chaperon came from a modest background, he was born in Paris. He attended the Lycée impérial Bonaparte and the École des Beaux-Arts where he studied painting and architecture, he spent three years at the Villa Medici. He studied architecture in the atelier of Victor Baltard and painting in the atelier of Léon Riesener where he received guidance from Riesener's cousin Eugène Delacroix. Many of his paintings were influenced by his architecture studies, he made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1844 with Ruines d'un Temple dans l'Inde. He exhibited landscape paintings of cities and villages and the interiors of churches.
However, it was as a scenic designer. He studied the craft from 1842 under Charles Cicéri and Domenico Ferri, both of whom designed for the main opera houses and theatres of Paris, he spent two years in Spain from 1847 to 1849. He had gone there to work on the decor for a theatre in Barcelona, but on Ciceri's suggestion he travelled around Spain painting and sketching scenes of villages and towns. Spanish subjects were coming into vogue in opera and his paintings would serve as inspirations for Chaperon's stage sets. In 1851 he joined Cicéri's old atelier which at that point was being run by Cicéri's son-in-law Auguste Alfred Rubé. Rubé and Chaperon formed their own atelier, "Rubé et Chaperon", in 1864 and over the next 30 years produced numerous set designs as well as interior decor for theatres throughout France and in Belgium. In 1875 they created the trompe-l'œil curtain for the newly built Palais Garnier as well as the painting on the dome over the main auditorium of La Monnaie. Chaperon designed a trompe-l'œil curtain for the Éden-Théâtre which opened in 1883.
In addition to his theatre work with Rubé, Chaperon produced decorative paintings and interior designs for churches, public buildings, private mansions such as the Hôtel Goüin. In 1895, Rubé left the atelier to form a new partnership with his grandson Marcel Moisson who had worked at Rubé et Chaperon. Chaperon carried on the atelier, joined by his son Émile, together they produced designs for many opera and theatre productions in Paris that included La favorite, Les Huguenots, Frédégonde and Messidor, they produced exhibits for the Exposition Universelle in 1900, interior decor for numerous provincial theatres as well as the Municipal Casino in Biarritz which opened in 1901. Chaperon retired to Lagny-sur-Marne in the suburbs of Paris 1905, he died there in 1906 at the age of 83. After his death, the painter and politcian Étienne Dujardin-Beaumetz commissioned a bust of Chaperon by Charles-Henri Pourquet, placed in the Palais Garnier. Émile spoke at its dedication on 5 December 1910: This beautiful theater reminded him of some of his happiest and most admired inspirations – the temple of Aida, for example, or the unforgettable esplanade of Elsinore in Hamlet – he loved music passionately.
After his father died, Émile Chaperon continued working as a designer and set up an art gallery on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. He left Paris for Saint-Maur in 1932 and died in Confolens in 1946. Philippe Chaperon had two other sons: Eugène Chaperon, a painter and illustrator who specialised in military subjects, the writer Philippe Auguste Théophile Chaperon. Works by Philippe Chaperon in the Musée Carnavalet, including a series of 10 friezes depicting the boulevards of Paris produced in 1848 Media related to Philippe Chaperon at Wikimedia Commons From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Enrico Caruso was an Italian operatic tenor. He sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and the Americas, appearing in a wide variety of roles from the Italian and French repertoires that ranged from the lyric to the dramatic. Caruso made 260 commercially released recordings from 1902 to 1920. All of these recordings, which span most of his stage career, remain available today on CDs and as downloads and digital streams. Enrico Caruso came from a poor but not destitute background. Born in Naples in the via Santi Giovanni e Paolo n° 7 on 25 February 1873, he was baptised the next day in the adjacent Church of San Giovanni e Paolo, his parents came from Piedimonte d'Alife in the Province of Benevento, in the Province of Caserta in Campania, Southern Italy. Called Errico in accordance with the Neapolitan language, he would adopt the formal Italian version of his given name, Enrico; this change came at the suggestion of his singing teacher Guglielmo Vergine. Caruso was the third of one of only three to survive infancy.
There is a story of Caruso's parents having had 21 children. However, on the basis of genealogical research, biographers Pierre Key, Francis Robinson, Enrico Caruso Jr. and Andrew Farkas, have proven this to be an urban legend. Caruso himself and his brother Giovanni may have been the source of the exaggerated number. Caruso's widow Dorothy included the story in a memoir that she wrote about her husband, she quotes the tenor, speaking of his mother, Anna Caruso: "She had twenty-one children. Twenty boys and one girl – too many. I am number nineteen boy."Caruso's father, was a mechanic and foundry worker. Marcellino thought his son should adopt the same trade, at the age of 11, the boy was apprenticed to a mechanical engineer who constructed public water fountains. Caruso worked alongside his father at the Meuricoffre factory in Naples. At his mother's insistence, he attended school for a time, receiving a basic education under the tutelage of a local priest, he studied technical draftsmanship. During this period he sang in his church choir, his voice showed enough promise for him to contemplate a possible career in music.
Caruso was encouraged in his early musical ambitions by his mother, who died in 1888. To raise cash for his family, he found work as a street singer in Naples and performed at cafes and soirees. Aged 18, he used the fees he had earned by singing at an Italian resort to buy his first pair of new shoes, his progress as a paid entertainer was interrupted, however, by 45 days of compulsory military service. He completed this in 1894. On 15 March 1895 at the age of 22, Caruso made his professional stage debut at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples in the now-forgotten opera, L'Amico Francesco, by the amateur composer Mario Morelli. A string of further engagements in provincial opera houses followed, he received instruction from the conductor and voice teacher Vincenzo Lombardi that improved his high notes and polished his style. Three other prominent Neapolitan singers taught by Lombardi were the baritones Antonio Scotti and Pasquale Amato, both of whom would go on to partner Caruso at the Met, the tenor Fernando De Lucia, who would appear at the Met and sing at Caruso's funeral.
Money continued to be in short supply for the young Caruso. One of his first publicity photographs, taken on a visit to Sicily in 1896, depicts him wearing a bedspread draped like a toga since his sole dress shirt was away being laundered. At a notorious early performance in Naples, he was booed by a section of the audience because he failed to pay a claque to cheer for him; this incident hurt Caruso's pride. He never appeared again on stage in his native city, stating that he would return "only to eat spaghetti". During the final few years of the 19th century, Caruso performed at a succession of theaters throughout Italy until in 1900 he was rewarded with a contract to sing at La Scala, his La Scala debut occurred on 26 December of that year in the part of Rodolfo in Giacomo Puccini's La bohème with Arturo Toscanini conducting. Audiences in Monte Carlo and Buenos Aires heard Caruso sing during this pivotal phase of his career and, in 1899–1900, he appeared before the tsar and the Russian aristocracy at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as part of a touring company of first-class Italian singers.
The first major operatic role that Caruso was given the responsibility of creating was Loris in Umberto Giordano's Fedora at the Teatro Lirico, Milan, on 17 November 1898. At that same theater on 6 November 1902, he created the role of Maurizio in Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur. Caruso took part in a grand concert at La Scala in February 1901 that Toscanini organised to mark the recent death of Giuseppe Verdi. Among those appearing with him at the concert were two other leading Italian tenors of the day, Francesco Tamagno and Giuseppe Borgatti, he embarked on his last series of La Scala performances in March 1902, creating along the way the principal tenor part in G