Personalities | Paul Dukas | Modern Era | Opera

1865–1935, French

A contemporary of Debussy and Ravel who joined the French Wagnerian movement, Dukas is primarily known for his orchestral fantasy L’apprenti sorcier (‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’, 1897), memorably featured in Disney’s animated feature Fantasia. He was a perfectionist who spent years rewriting his partially written works. Two of Dukas’ operas remained unfinished: the Wagner-inspired Horn et Riemenhild (1892) and L’arbre de science (1899), a lyric drama in four acts. His only complete opera was Ariane et Barbe-bleue (‘Ariane and Bluebeard’, 1908), based on Maurice Maeterlinck’s play and featuring Maeterlinck’s libretto, yet Dukas was only granted permission to set the text to music on the condition that Georgette Leblanc (Dukas’ long-term companion) could sing the role of Ariane. He complied, and the work received its first performance at the Opéra-Comique in 1907. Borrowing from the chromaticism of Wagner and the use of the pentatonic scale – much employed by DebussyAriane et Barbe-bleue is a mixture of traditional grand opéra and the natural declamation of French mélodie. In later years, as a professor of music at the Paris Conservatoire, Dukas passed his knowledge on to composers such as Isaac Albéniz (1860–1909) and Olivier Messiaen (1908–92).

Introduction | Modern Era | Opera
Personalities | George Enescu | Modern Era | Opera
Houses & Companies | Opéra-Comique | Early 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.