Meyerbeer, Giacomo

Meyerbeer, Giacomo
orig. Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer

born Sept. 5, 1791, Tasdorf, near Berlin, Ger.
died May 2, 1864, Paris, Fr.

German composer.

Brother of the astronomer Wilhelm Beer and the playwright Michael Beer, he achieved early success as a pianist. After he studied vocal writing in Italy, his Italian operas were well received. In Paris from с 1825, he undertook work on a libretto by Eugène Scribe, and his Robert le Diable (1831) was one of opera's greatest triumphs from its premiere. Three later grand operas also became part of the international repertoire: Les Huguenots (1836), Le Prophète (1849), and L'Africaine (1864). Richard Wagner's criticism of Meyerbeer's "desertion" of German music, tainted by jealousy and anti-Semitism, led to neglect of his music for many years, but Meyerbeer exercised unmistakable influence on both Giuseppe Verdi and Wagner himself.

* * *

▪ German composer
original name  Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer  
born Sept. 5, 1791, Tasdorf, near Berlin
died May 2, 1864, Paris
 German opera composer who established in Paris a vogue for spectacular romantic opera.

      Born of a wealthy Jewish family, Meyerbeer studied composition in Berlin and later at Darmstadt, where he formed a friendship with C.M. von Weber. His early German operas, produced at Munich, Stuttgart, and Vienna, were failures, and after a journey to Paris and London he settled in 1816 in Italy, where he produced five operas in the style of Rossini. The best of these was Il crociato (Venice, 1824), given the following year in London and Paris. His first French opera, written in association with Eugène Scribe, was Robert le Diable (Paris, 1831), produced on an extremely lavish scale and calculated to appeal to the current romantic taste for medievalism, the supernatural, and the macabre. Its success was immediate, establishing this work as the model of French grand opera. Les Huguenots was similarly successful in 1836. In 1842 Meyerbeer temporarily returned to Berlin, where he became music director to the King of Prussia and where he prompted the production of Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer. During this period he wrote a German opera, Ein Feldlager in Schlesien (1844), in which Jenny Lind took the principal part. His third romantic opera on a libretto of Scribe, Le Prophète, was given in Paris in 1849. He then turned to a lighter style and produced two works in the tradition of the opéra comique, L'Etoile du nord (1854) and Le Pardon de Ploërmel (1859). His last opera, L'Africaine, was in rehearsal at the time of his death.

      Meyerbeer enjoyed an enormous vogue in his day, but his reputation, based on his four Paris operas, did not survive long. Yet he exercised a considerable influence on the development of opera by his conception of big character scenes, his dramatic style of vocal writing, and his original sense of orchestration—particularly his novel use of the bass clarinet, the saxophone, and the bassoon. Berlioz came under his influence, and operas such as Verdi's Don Carlos and Puccini's Turandot are traced to Meyerbeer not only for their spectacular elements but also for their effective manipulation of ensembles and arias. A number of his operas, most notably L'Africaine, were revived in the 20th century, and a ballet suite, Les Patineurs, based on Le Prophète, was arranged by Constant Lambert.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MEYERBEER, GIACOMO — (Jacob Liebmann Beer; 1791–1864), German composer, remembered mainly for his spectacular operas. Meyerbeer was born in Berlin, where his father Jacob Herz Beer was a prominent banker; his brothers were wilhelm beer and michael beer . His musical… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Meyerbeer, Giacomo — Meyerbeer, Giacomo, einer der renommirtesten Componisten der neuen Zeit. Seine Opern sind ein musikalisches Arsenal, in welchem Schönes und Gehaltloses in dem blendendsten Farbenglanze neben einander aufgestellt ist. M. hat jene Wissenschaft der… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Meyerbeer, Giacomo — orig. Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer (5 sep. 1791, Tasdorf, cerca de Berlín, Alemania–2 may.1864, París, Francia). Compositor alemán. Hermano del astrónomo Wilhelm Beer y del dramaturgo Michael Beer, logró un éxito precoz como pianista. Después de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Meyerbeer,Giacomo — Mey·er·beer (mīʹər bîr ), Giacomo. 1791 1864. German composer of French operas, notably Les Huguenots (1836). * * * …   Universalium

  • Meyerbeer, Giacomo — soprannome di Mayer Beer, Jakob Liebmann …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Meyerbeer, Giacomo (Jacob Liebmann-Beer) — (1791–1864)    German composer. Meyerbeer, the son of a Berlin banker, settled in Paris in 1826, and achieved fame with a series of spectacular grand operas in the French style: Robert le Diable (1831), Les Huguenots (1836), Le Prophète (1843)… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Meyerbeer, Giacomo (Beer, Jakob Liebmann) — (1791 1864)    German composer. Born in Vogelsdorf, he was the son of a wealthy Berlin banker. He composed operas in Italy in the style of Rossini, and then moved to Paris where he produced Robert le Diable. Other works include Les Huguenots. In… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Giacomo Meyerbeer — Giacomo Meyerbeer, Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber, 1847. Giacomo Meyerbeer[1] (5 September 1791 – 2 May 1864) was a noted German opera composer, and the first great exponent of grand opera. At his peak in the 1830s and 1840s, he was the most… …   Wikipedia

  • Giacomo Meyerbeer — (* 5. September 1791 in Tasdorf bei Berlin; † 2. Mai 1864 in Paris), eigentlich Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer[1], war ein deutscher Komponist und Dirigent. Er war einer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Meyerbeer — Giacomo Meyerbeer Giacomo Meyerbeer (* 5. September 1791 in Vogelsdorf oder Tasdorf bei Berlin; † 2. Mai 1864 in Paris), eigentlich Jakob Meyer Beer, war ein deutscher Komponist und Dirigent. Er war einer der erfolgreichsten Opernkomponisten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”