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Encyclopedia > Giacomo Meyerbeer
Giacomo Meyerbeer
Giacomo Meyerbeer

Giacomo Meyerbeer (September 5, 1791May 2, 1864) was a noted German-born opera composer, and the first great exponent of Grand Opera. Image File history File links Giacomo_Meyerbeer_nuorempana. ... Image File history File links Giacomo_Meyerbeer_nuorempana. ... September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... May 2 is the 122nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (123rd in leap years). ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Sydney Opera House: one of the worlds most recognizable opera houses and landmarks Opera refers to a dramatic art form, originating in Europe, in which the emotional content or primary entertainment is conveyed to the audience as much through music, both vocal and instrumental, as it is through the... A composer is a person who writes music. ... Grand Opera is a style of opera mainly characterized by many features on a grandiose scale. ...

Contents


Biography

Meyerbeer was born to a Jewish family in Tasdorf, near Berlin, Germany with the name Jacob Liebmann Beer. His father was the enormously wealthy financier Jacob Judah Herz Beer (1769-1825) and his much-beloved mother, Amalia Liebmann Meyer Wulff (1767-1854) also came from the wealthy elite. Their other children included the astronomer Wilhelm Beer and the poet Michael Beer. Jews (Hebrew: יהודים, Yehudim) are followers of Judaism or, more generally, members of the Jewish people (also known as the Jewish nation, or the Children of Israel), an ethno-religious group descended from the ancient Israelites and converts who joined their religion. ... For other uses, see Berlin (disambiguation). ... An astronomer or astrophysicist is a scientist whose area of research is astronomy or astrophysics. ... Wilhelm Beer Wilhelm Wolff Beer (January 14, 1797 – March 27, 1850) was a banker and astronomer in Berlin, Germany, and brother of Giacomo Meyerbeer. ...


Meyerbeer made his debut as a nine-year old playing a Mozart concerto in Berlin. Throughout his youth, although he was determined to become a musician, he found it difficult to decide between playing and composition. Certainly other professionals in the decade 1810-1820, including Moscheles, considered him amongst the greatest virtuosi of his period. In his youth Beer studied with Antonio Salieri and the German master and friend of Goethe, Carl Friedrich Zelter. Realizing, however, that a full understanding of Italian opera was essential for his musical development, he went to study in Italy for some years, during which time he adopted the first name Giacomo. The 'Meyer' in his surname he adopted after the death of his great-grandfather. It was during this time that he became acquainted with, and impressed by, the works of his contemporary Gioacchino Rossini. Ignaz Moscheles, from a portrait by his son Felix. ... Antonio Salieri Antonio Salieri (August 18, 1750 – May 7, 1825), born in Legnago, Italy, was a composer and conductor, as well as one of the most important and famous musicians of his time. ... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (pronounced [gø tə]) (August 28, 1749–March 22, 1832) was a German writer, politician, humanist, scientist, and philosopher. ... Carl Friedrich Zelter Carl Friedrich Zelter (11 November 1758 – 15 May 1832) was a German composer, conductor and teacher of music. ... Portrait Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (February 29, 1792 – November 13, 1868) was an Italian musical composer who wrote more than 30 operas as well as sacred music and chamber music. ...


Meyerbeer's name first became known internationally with his opera Il crociato in Egitto (premiered in Venice in 1824, and produced in London and Paris in 1825), but he became virtually a superstar with Robert le Diable (Robert the Devil, with libretto by Eugène Scribe and Casimir Delavigne), produced in Paris in 1831 and regarded by some as the first grand opera. The fusion of dramatic music, melodramatic plot and sumptuous staging proved a sure-fire formula which Meyerbeer repeated in Les Huguenots (1836), Le prophète (1849), and L'Africaine, (produced posthumously, 1865). All of these operas held the international stage throughout the 19th century, as did the more pastoral Dinorah (1859). However, because they were expensive to stage, requiring large casts of leading singers, and subject to consistent attack from the prevalent Wagnerian schools, they gradually fell into desuetude. Il crociato in Egitto (The Crusade in Egpyt) is an opera in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer, with a libretto by Gaetano Rossi. ... View of Venice to San Giorgio Maggiore island from St Marks Campanile. ... London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England and is the most populous city in the European Union. ... The Eiffel Tower, the international symbol of the city For other uses, see Paris (disambiguation). ... Robert le Diable (English: Robert the Devil) is an opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer, often regarded as the first grand opera. ... Augustin Eugène Scribe (December 24, 1791 - February 20, 1861), was a French dramatist and librettist. ... Jean-François Casimir Delavigne (April 4, 1793 - December 11, 1843), was a French poet and dramatist. ... Grand Opera is a style of opera mainly characterized by many features on a grandiose scale. ... Les Huguenots is a French opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... Le prophète (The Prophet) is an opera in five acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... LAfricaine (The African Woman) is an opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... Wagner may refer to more than one place in the United States: Wagner, South Dakota Wagner, Wisconsin Wagner may refer to more than one person: Richard Wagner, German composer Cosima Wagner, daughter of Franz Liszt and wife of Richard Wagner Heinrich Leopold Wagner, dramatist and author John Peter Honus Wagner...


Meyerbeer left Paris for Berlin in 1842 to take the post of Court musical director, but returned to Paris in 1849. For other uses, see Berlin (disambiguation). ...

Meyerbeer's grave in Berlin
Meyerbeer's grave in Berlin

Meyerbeer's music was banned by the Nazi regime because of its composer's origins. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (400x710, 32 KB) Summary Grave of Giacomo Meyerbeer, photo taken by me Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (400x710, 32 KB) Summary Grave of Giacomo Meyerbeer, photo taken by me Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... National Socialism redirects here. ...


Nonetheless, the operas are now beginning to be regularly revived and recorded.


Meyerbeer's immense wealth (increased by the success of his operas) and his continuing adherence to his Jewish religion set him apart somewhat from many of his musical contemporaries. They also gave rise to malicious rumours that his success was due to his bribing musical critics. Richard Wagner (see below) accused him of being only interested in money, not music. Meyerbeer was, however, a deeply serious musician and a sensitive personality. He philosophically resigned himself to being a victim of his own success. Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people with around 15 million followers as of 2006 [1]. It is one of the first recorded monotheistic faiths and one of the oldest religious traditions still practiced today. ... Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (May 22, 1813 – February 13, 1883) was an influential German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as he later came to call them). ...


Meyerbeer's extensive diaries and correspondence miraculously survived the turmoil of 20th century Europe and are now being published (6 volumes so far out of 7 - the diaries alone have been published in an English translation in 4 volumes). They are an invaluable source for the history of music and the theatre in the composer's time.


Meyerbeer and Richard Wagner

The vitriolic campaign of Richard Wagner against Meyerbeer (initiated by his Judaeophobic article Das Judenthum in der Musik ('Jewry in Music') of 1850) was to a great extent responsible for the decline of Meyerbeer's popularity after his death in 1864. This campaign was as much a matter of personal spite as of racism - Wagner had learnt a great deal from Meyerbeer and indeed Wagner's early opera Rienzi (1842) has been called 'Meyerbeer's most successful work' (though it did not achieve the same success with certain audiences as did Meyerbeer's most important works). Meyerbeer supported the young Wagner, both financially and in obtaining a production of Rienzi at Dresden. Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (May 22, 1813 – February 13, 1883) was an influential German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as he later came to call them). ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ... Das Judenthum in der Musik (Judaism in Music or Jewishness in Music) is an anti-Semitic article which was published in the Neue Zeitschrift. ... An African-American man drinks out of the colored only water cooler at a racially segregated street car terminal in the United States in 1939. ... Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen (Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes) is an early opera by Richard Wagner in five acts, with the libretto written by the composer after Bulwer-Lyttons novel of the same name. ... From left to right: Brühls Terrace; the Hofkirche and the castle; the Semper Opera House. ...


However, Wagner resented Meyerbeer's continuing success at a time when his own vision of German opera had little chance of prospering. After the Dresden revolution of 1848 Wagner was for some years a political refugee facing a prison sentence or worse in Saxony. During this period when he was gestating his Ring cycle he had few sources of income apart from journalism and benefactors, and little opportunity of getting his own works performed. The success of Le Prophète sent Wagner over the edge, and he was also deeply envious of Meyerbeer's wealth. After Meyerbeer's death Wagner reissued the essay in 1868 in an extended form, with a far more explicit attack on Meyerbeer. This version was under Wagner's own name - for the first version he had sheltered behind a pseudonym - and as Wagner had by now a far greater reputation and influence, his views obtained far wider publicity. —Alexis de Tocqueville, Recollections The European Revolutions of 1848, in some countries known as the Spring of Nations, were the bloody consequences of a variety of changes that had been taking place in Europe in the first half of the 19th century. ... The Free State of Saxony (German: Freistaat Sachsen; Sorbian: Swobodny Stata Sakska) is at a land area of 18,413 km² and a population of 4. ... The Ring of the Nibelung or, in the original German, Der Ring des Nibelungen, is a series of four epic operas. ...


These attacks on Meyerbeer (which also included a swipe at Felix Mendelssohn) are regarded by some as significant milestones in the growth of German anti-Semitism. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy at the age of thirty Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, known generally as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was a German composer of Jewish parentage of the early Romantic period. ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ...


List of Operas

  • Jephtas Gelübte; Munich 23 Dec. 1812
  • Wirt und Gast; Stuttgart 6 Jan. 1813
  • Das Brandenburger Tor; Comp. for Berlin, 1814
  • Romilda e Costanza; Padua 19 July, 1817
  • Semiramide riconosciuta; Turin, Regio, Mar. 1819 Performed in Bad Wildbad, 2005
  • Emma di Resburgo; Venice, San Benedetto, 26 June, 1819
  • Margherita d’Anjou; Milan 14 Nov. 1820
  • L'Almanzore; Probably composed 1820-21 intended for Rome but unperformed there. While it is believed to have been unfinished it is also possible that it is an earlier version of L'esule di Granata
  • L'esule di Granata; Milan 12 March 1821
  • Il crociato in Egitto; Venice, La Fenice, 7 March 1824 frequently revised by Meyerbeer
  • Robert le diable; Paris, Opéra, 21 Nov. 1831
  • Les Huguenots; Paris, Opéra, 29 Feb. 1836
  • Ein Feldlager in Schlesien; Berlin, Hofoper, 7 Dec. 1844 Revised as Vielka, Vienna, Th. an der Wien, 18 Feb. 1847
  • Le prophète; Paris, Opéra, 16 Apr. 1849
  • L'étoile du nord; Paris, Opéra Comique, 16 Feb. 1854 Partly based on the earlier Feldlager in Schlesien, revised in Italian, London, Covent Garden 19 July 1855
  • Le pardon de Ploermel; Paris, Opéra Comique, 4 Apr. 1859 revised in Italian as Dinorah, London, Covent Garden 26 July 1859
  • L'Africaine; Paris, Opéra, 28 Apr. 1865 (posthumous)

Munich (German: München, (pronounced listen) is the capital of the German Federal State of Bavaria. ... Stuttgart, a city located in southern Germany, is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg with a population of approximately 590,000 as of September 2005 in the city and around 3 million in the metropolitan area. ... Tronco Maestro Riviera: a pedestrian walk along a section of the inland waterway or naviglio interno of Padua. ... Turin (Italian: ; Piedmontese: Türín) is a major industrial city in north-western Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the west bank of the Po River. ... View of Venice to San Giorgio Maggiore island from St Marks Campanile. ... Margherita d’Anjou is an operatic melodramma semiseria in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... Milan (Italian: Milano; Milanese: Milán) is the main city of northern Italy, and is located in the plains of Lombardy, the most populated and developed region in Italy. ... City motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus – SPQR (The Senate and the People of Rome) Founded 21 April 753 BC (mythical), early 1st millennium BC (archaeological) Region Latium Area  - City Proper  1285 km² Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density (city proper) 2,553,873 almost 4,300,000 1. ... Lesule di Granata (The exile of Granada) is a melodramma (opera seria) in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... Il crociato in Egitto (The Crusade in Egpyt) is an opera in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer, with a libretto by Gaetano Rossi. ... Robert Francois Damiens (1715 - 1757), was Frenchman who attained notoriety by his unsuccessful assassination attempt on Louis XV of France in 1757. ... Les Huguenots is a French opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... Ein Feldlager in Schlesien (A Camp in Silesia) is a Singspiel in three acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... Le prophète (The Prophet) is an opera in five acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... Létoile du nord (The North Star) is an opéra comique in three acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... LAfricaine (The African Woman) is an opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ...

External links

  • Meyerbeer Fan Club site at meyerbeer.com
  • Article by David Conway on 'Meyerbeer the Jew' on his site dedicated to Jewish musicians
  • Free Mp3 file of Wilhelm Kuhe's piano "Fantaisie on Meyerbeer's "Dinorah" played by John Kersey
  • Free Mp3 file of Eugene Ketterer's piano "Fantaisie on Meyerbeer's "L'Africaine" played by John Kersey
  • Meyerbeer cylinder recordings, from the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara Library

The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project is a free digital collection maintained by the University of California, Santa Barbara Libraries with streaming and downloadable versions of over 5,000 phonograph cylinders manufactured between 1895 and the mid 1920s. ... The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a coeducational public university located on the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara County, California. ...

Bibliography

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Giacomo Meyerbeer
  • Heinz and Gudrun Becker: Giacomo Meyerbeer, a Life in Letters (London, 1989)
  • Reiner Zimmermann: Giacomo Meyerbeer, eine Biographie nach Dokumenten (Berlin 1998)
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer, tr. and edited by Robert Letellier: The Diaries of Giacomo Meyerbeer (4 volumes, Madison and London, 1999-2004)
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer, ed. Heinz Becker and Sabine Henze-Dohring: Briefwechsel und Tagebücher (7 volumes, 6 published to date, Berlin and New York, 1960 - )
  • Tom Kaufman: Wagner vs. Meyerbeer:Opera Quarterly Vol. 19 No. 4 Autumn 2003

Image File history File links Wikisource-nt. ... Wikisource – The Free Library – is a Wikimedia project to build a free, wiki library of source texts, along with translations into any language and other supporting materials. ...

Discography

  • [1] A Meyerbeer discography (updated whenever an additional opera by Meyerbeer is issued on CD)

  Results from FactBites:
 
GIACOMO MEYERBEER (2102 words)
But, of course, Mendelssohn regarded Meyerbeer with the same disdain that he had for Pacini and Bellini, and Schumann as well as Wagner were only too pleased to follow in his footsteps.
Robert le Diable was not only to catapult Meyerbeer into a renown eclipsing that of Rossini for nearly a century, but was also to have a very significant effect on the history of the art form to the extent that it was a factor in causing Rossini to retire from composing any more operas.
Meyerbeer was to become less than happy in Berlin over the next few years, partly because he did not get along well with his immediate "superior", the intendant Kützner, and partly because he felt that conditions at the opera house were deteriorating.
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