Halévy, Jacques François Fromental Élie

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Halévy, Jacques François Fromental Élie

Halévy, Jacques François Fromental Élie (zhäk fräNswäˈ frômäNtälˈ) (älāvēˈ), 1799–1862, French operatic composer. He studied with Cherubini at the Paris Conservatory, where he became a professor in 1827. Halévy's one big success was La Juive (1835), although others, such as L'Éclair (1836) and La Reine de Chypre (1841), enjoyed popularity in their time.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Halévy, Jacques François Fromental Élie


(pseudonym of Elias Lévy). Born May 27, 1799, in Paris; died Mar. 17, 1862, in Nice. French composer. Member of the Institut de France (1836); permanent secretary of the Academy of Fine Arts (from 1854).

From 1809 to 1819, Halévy studied at the Paris Conservatory with H. Berton and L. Cherubini; in 1816 he became an instructor there and in 1827 a professor. Among his students were Bizet, Gounod, and Saint-Saëns. At the same time he was an accompanist and then choral director of the Italian Opera in Paris.

Halévy is one of the outstanding representatives of grand opera. His style was monumental, combining dramatic effect with outward ornamentation and making abundant use of scenic effects. Most of Halévy’s operas had historical subjects. The best of them were devoted to the theme of the struggle against national oppression, but this theme was treated from the standpoint of bourgeois-liberal humanism. The Queen of Cyprus (1841) and Charles VI (1843) are examples of this tendency in his works. His best-known opera was La Juive (1835). In addition to operas, Halévy wrote two ballets, cantatas, art songs, choral works, piano pieces, and religious compositions. He was also the author of some literary works.


Souvenirs et portraits. Paris, 1861.
Derniers Souvenirs et portraits. Paris, 1863.


Halévy, L. Halévy, sa vie et ses oeuvres, 2nd ed. Paris, 1863.
Pougin, A. F. Halévy: écrivain. Paris, 1865.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hallman certainly pursues these angles, but because Fromental Halevy was Jewish she addresses a whole series of questions about creation and reception not normally asked of grand opera.
So the audiences packing the house for Fromental Halevy's "La Juive," a French grand-opera rarity not seen at the Met in more than six decades, must have been a pleasurable surprise.
The history of grand opera that unfolded in the 1830s cannot be told without mention of Meyerbeer's enormous contribution or Fromental Halevy's singular cotribution, La Juive.
Nonetheless, the profound interest surrounding the Metropolitan Opera's revival of Fromental Halevy's La Juive in fall 2003 may be a substantial indicator of a more widespread resurrection of this repertory, and the jumpstart for dormant editing projects.
Concomitantly, Erkel's musical language is borrowed primarily from Italian, French, and German opera composers of the first half of the century--Gioachino Rossini, Saverio Mercadante, Daniel-Francois-Esprit Auber, Carl Maria von Weber, Fromental Halevy, Giacomo Meyerbeer, and, most notably, Gaetano Donizetti.
Renewed interest in nineteenth-century French opera in recent decades has largely bypassed the life and music of the French-born composer Fromental Halevy, despite his leading positions at the Opera-comique and Paris Opera and the century-long popularity of his acknowledged masterpiece La Juive.
Jacques Joly grapples with the apparent contradiction implied in the assigning of the father's role to a tenor rather than to a baritone in Fromental Halevy's La Juive and Gaetano Donizetti's Mawa Padilla.