Charles Louis Ambroise Thomas

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Thomas, Charles Louis Ambroise


Born Aug. 5, 1811, in Metz; died Feb. 12,1896, in Paris. French composer. Member of the Institut de France (1851).

The son of a music teacher, Thomas graduated in 1832 from the Paris Conservatory, where he studied piano with F. W. Kalkbrenner and composition with J. F. Lesueur. He made his debut as a composer of operas in 1837 with La Double Echelle (based on a play by E. Scribe). Thomas is known for his lyric operas, a genre he helped create. These include Mignon, based on Goethe’s novel Wilhelm Master’s Apprenticeship (1866; Paris, Opera Comique), and Hamlet, based on Shakespeare’s play (1868; Paris, Opera). Thomas’ lyric operas exhibit both the merits and the defects of the genre, in which the emphasis on melody, elegance, and theatrical effect impoverishes the social and philosophical content of the literary sources used. Thomas’ other works include two operas comiquesLe Caid (1849) and Le Songe d’une nuit d’été (1850; based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream)—and the ballet La Tempéte (1889; based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest).

Thomas taught at the Paris Conservatory, where he became a professor in 1852 and served as director from 1871 to 1893. J. Massenet was among his students.


Curzon, N. de. A. Thomas. Paris, 1921.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ophelia's arias from Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet always featured but soprano Carolyn Sampson and pianist Joseph Middleton's themed song survey is much more adventurous.
Amira also sang in ten performances "Carmina Burana" at the Palais des Congres, Paris, and performed "Ophelie" in "Hamlet" by Ambroise Thomas at the Opera Saint Etienne, France, "Queen of the Night" in Mozart's "Magic Flute" in Paris, Lille, Biarritz, Nantes, Marseille.
The cast assembled by director-designer Thaddeus Strassberger for Minnesota Operas March staging Ambroise Thomas's rarely seen Hamlet sang brilliantly and showed impressive involvement in the complicated roles they were played.
Their pot-pourri included many compositional and vocal styles ranging from Mozart, through Ambroise Thomas and Hugo Wolf to two of contemporary American William Bolcom's concert songs in cabaret style.
Central will be opera, and the Festival productions are of Donizetti's tragedy Maria di Rohan, Mignon by Ambroise Thomas, conducted by festival director Andrew Greenwood, and Handel's Saul, conducted by Harry Christophers.
Operas including Ambroise Thomas's domestic drama Mignon and Auguste Mermet's Jeanne d'Arc (one of several works on Joan of Arc performed during the Moral Order), were critical in demonstrating a unified view of the Republic.
NEWPORT - An encore broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera presentation of Ambroise Thomas' "Hamlet " will be shown at 2 p.m.
"I'm not Snoop Dogg," jokes Salters, whose repertoire includes Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet and Vincenzo Bellini's I Puritani.
Fauser shows how two elaborate new productions--Massenet's Esclarmonde at the Opera-Comique and Ambroise Thomas's ballet La tempete at the Opera--illuminate the politics of French identity, even though neither stayed long in the repertory.
The 27 essays honoring her discuss such topics as Chopin's Polish Rhapsody, folklore and reminiscence in Claude Debussy, marking the accord of instrument and style from 1709 to 1768, deconstructive melodrama in the Hamlet of Ambroise Thomas, the problems of musical hermeneutics, words for Marenzio's five-voice madrigals, the cantus firmus of Josquin's Missa Hercules dux Ferrarie, and synagogue reform in Aarhus Denmark.