Personalities | Ludovic Halévy | High Romantic | Opera

1834–1908, French

Ludovic Halévy was the nephew of the French composer Fromental Halévy (1799–1862) and first made his name as a novelist and playwright. Halévy worked as a civil servant until 1865, when he retired to write full time. By then he had already become friendly with Jacques Offenbach and in 1858, together with Hector Crémieux (1828–92), he wrote the libretto for Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers. Another even more fruitful partnership, with Meilhac, began in 1860. Their witty, provocative and irreverent writing as displayed in La belle Hélène and La grande duchesse de Gérolstein (‘The Grand Duchess of Gérolstein’, 1867) – among others – was ideally suited to Offenbach’s operetta style. Meilhac and Halévy also provided the libretto for Bizet’s Carmen. In 1884, Ludovic Halévy was elected a member of the French Academy but after 1892, when his Kari Kari appeared, he virtually ceased writing.

Introduction | High Romantic | Opera
Personalities | E.T.A. (Ernst Theodor Amadeus) Hoffmann | High Romantic | Opera
Techniques | Operetta | Turn of the Century | Opera


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