Personalities | Gustave Charpentier | Turn of the Century | Opera

1860–1956, French

Born in 1860, Charpentier studied the violin at the Lille Conservatory and subsequently entered the Paris Conservatoire where he studied both violin and composition. Having begun composition studies with Hector Pessard, he later studied under Massenet, whose advice contributed to Charpentier’s victory in the Prix de Rome in 1887. Part of the prize involved a trip to Rome itself and it was there that he began his best-known opera, Louise.

Charpentier was naturally inclined towards the prevailing trend for starkly realistic settings and, although he took advice from friends to tone down the work’s rougher edges, it was a success when premiered in 1900 at the Opéra-Comique. Another opera, Julien, was completed in 1913 and met with considerable acclaim. After this, however, projects were mooted and sometimes started but never brought to completion.

Introduction | Turn of the Century | Opera
Major Operas | Louise by Gustave Charpentier | Turn of the Century
Personalities | Francesco Cilea | Turn of the Century | Opera
Houses & Companies | Opéra-Comique | Early Romantic | Opera


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