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(1791-1864). After several early attempts to create works for the stage that met with failure, Meyerbeer left his native Berlin in 1816 to study Italian vocal music. He so fully embraced what he learned that his next operas, premiered in Padua, Turin, Venice, and Milan all met with popular success. By 1825 he was active in Paris where he combined his knowledge of Italian elements with French grand opera and a collaboration with librettist Eugène Scribe to create several opera which would lead to his greatest successes, including “Robert le diable”, “Les huguenots”, and “Le prophète”. Meyerbeer was invited back to Berlin in 1842 to take up the directorship of the new opera house there, though his tenure was marked by conflicts and intrigues. His last major opera was “L’africaine”, completed just before his death.

Many of the roles in Meyerbeer’s operas were written with the unique vocal abilities of a specific singer in mind, and his orchestrations were dazzling and original for their time.  Accordingly, the spectacle and effects of Meyerbeer’s operas kept them immensely popular into the early 20th century.   Over time, they have been eclipsed by those of Wagner and Verdi.

This biography was most recently edited by...
steven - 2 Sep 2010
steven - 2 Sep 2010
steven - 2 Sep 2010
steven - 2 Sep 2010
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