Personalities | André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry | Classical Era | Opera

1741–1813, French

Grétry, who was born in Liège, composed two intermezzi before he headed for Paris and his preferred genre, the opéra comique. His first success, Le Huron (1768), came a year after his arrival and was followed in 1769 by the equally well received Lucile and Le tableau parlant (‘The Talking Picture’). Grétry charmed French audiences with his elegant, expressive melodies and their distinctly Italian grace. A string of successes encouraged Grétry to spread his musical wings with his composition of Andromaque (‘Andromache’, 1780), which was based on Racine’s play about the Trojan War. This was a big, dramatic subject, with rather too much tragedy for Grétry’s particular talent, which was somewhat overstretched by it. However, the opera considered to be Grétry’s masterpiece, Richard Coeur-de-Lion (‘Richard the Lionheart’, 1784) lay ahead of him and received its first performance in Paris. This opera in three acts was based on the thirteenth-century fable telling the story of King Richard and his faithful minstrel Blondel. Blondel’s air ‘Une fèvre brûlante’ was an early example of the reminiscence motif, which is repeated throughout the opera as a reminder of a place, a person or other feature of the story.

Introduction | Classical Era | Opera
Major Operas | Richard Coeur-de-Lion by André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry | Classical Era
Personalities | Gaetano Guadagni | Classical Era | 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.