Halévy, Jacques François Fromental Élie

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Halévy, Jacques François Fromental Élie

(zhäk fräNswä` frômäNtäl` älāvē`), 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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.