Opera Scotland

Michael Balfe Suggest updates

Michael William Balfe.

Born Dublin, 15 May 1808.

Died Rowney Abbey, 20 October 1870.

Irish composer, conductor and baritone.

Balfe's career was one of unparalelled success both in Britain and on the continent, initially as a singer, but more particularly as a hugely popular composer of opera. Even as he produced these works many people chose to sneer at them, because of the inadequacy of their texts and the preponderance of ballad music. Nevertheless, he was encouraged by Rossini himself, and the leading roles in The Maid of Artois (very loosely based on the Manon Lescaut story) were created by the famed Puritani quartet of Grisi, Mario, Tamburini and Lablache.

As a conductor, he worked with Benjamin Lunley's company, at Her Majesty's Theare and on tour).

Operas known to have been performed in Scotland are shown in bold:-

01   Atala (Paris c1827) (anon) (lost)

02   I rivali di se stessi (Palermo 1830) (Alcazar) (lost)

03   Un avvertimento ai gelosi (Pavia 1831) (Foppa) (lost)

04   Enrico Quarto al passo della Marna (Milan 1833) (anon) (lost)

05   The Siege of Rochelle (London 1835) (Fitzball)

06   The Maid of Artois (London 1837, rev 1846) (Bunn)                                                            

07   Catherine Grey (London 1837) (Linley)

08   Caractacus (London 1837) (Planché) (lost)

09   Joan of Arc (London 1837) (Fitzball)

10   Diadeste; or, The Veiled Lady (London 1838) (Fitzball)

11   Falstaff (London 1838) (Maggioni)

12   Keolanthe; or, The Unearthly Bride (London 1841) (Fitzball)

13   Les puits d'amour (Paris 1843) (Scribe & de Leuven)

14   The Bohemian Girl (London 1843) (Bunn)                                                                     

 15   Les quatre fils Aymon (Paris 1844) (de Leuven & Brunswick)

16   The Daughter of St Mark (London 1844) (Bunn)

17   The Enchantress (London 1845) (Bunn)

18   L'Etoile de Seville (Paris 1845) (Lucas)

19   The Bondman (London 1846) (Bunn)

20   The Maid of Honour (London 1847) (Fitzball)

21   The Sicilian Bride (London 1852) (Bunn)

22   The Devil’s in it (London 1852) (Bunn)

23   Pittore e Duca (Trieste 1854) (Piave)

24   Lo scudiero (1854 unperf) (Piave) (lost)

25   The Rose of Castille (London 1857) (Harris & Falconer)

26   Satanella, or The Power of Love (London 1858) (Harris & Falconer)

27   Bianca, or The Bravo’s Bride (London 1860) (Simpson)

28   The Puritan's Daughter (London 1861) (Bridgeman)

29   Blanche de Nevers (London 1862) (Brougham)

30   The Armourer of Nantes (London 1863) (Bridgeman)

31   The Sleeping Queen (London 1864) (Farnie)

32    Il talismano (unfin, comp Costa; prod London 1874) (Matthisen, tr Zaffiri)

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha