Personalities | Ambroise Thomas | High Romantic | Opera

1811–96, French

The French composer Ambroise Thomas was a staunch anti-Wagnerian, regarding this and other ‘modern’ influences as dangerous to French music. Thomas’s music, which included nine stage works written between 1837 and 1843, was firmly in the French musical tradition. Of these works, the most successful was La double échelle (‘The Double Ladder’, 1837). Thomas also wrote several opéras comiques, using Auber as his model, enlivening the genre and making it more Romantic. One opéra comique, Le songe d’une nuit d’ été (‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, 1850) had no connection with Shakespeare’s play, although Shakespeare appeared in it. Le songe was Thomas’s passport into the French Academy of Music, where he was elected in 1851 to succeed Gaspare Spontini (1774–1851). Appointed professor at the Conservatoire in 1856, he graduated to director in 1871 and remained in the post until his death. Thomas was always susceptible to the influence of other composers and most especially to Charles Gounod. His Mignon (1866), imitated Gounod’s Faust and he repeated the exercise by modelling his Hamlet (1868) on Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.

Introduction | High Romantic | Opera
Personalities | Joseph Tichatschek | High Romantic | Opera


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.