Opera Scotland

Ambroise Thomas Suggest updates

Charles Louis Ambroise Thomas

Born Metz, 5 August 1811.

Died Paris, 12 February 1896.

French composer.

Ambroise Thomas was Director of the Paris Conservatoire from 1871. As a composer, he had a successful career during his lifetime, especially with Mignon, an opéra-comique. Hamlet, composed for the Opéra, was also successful, in spite of being given a happy ending. By the middle of the twentieth century his reputation had been forgotten and his work had disappeared. Recently there has been a distinct revival in the fortunes of Hamlet, which succeeds within certain limitations and has been performed at Barcelona, Covent Garden, the Met and elsewhere. Mignon and several earlier pieces have also been found to have potential in revival. Both pieces have been successfully revived at Buxton.

However one which obstinately refused to take off in Britain was a charming comedy involving Elizabeth Tudor, William Shakespeare and Sir John Falstaff. The fact that it had the title A Midsummer Night's Dream (Le songe d'une nuit d'été) did it no harm in France, but may have hindered performances in Britain. The Carl Rosa company staged it with a completely new libretto under the title A Poet's Dream, and it was well received, but still failed to survive.

Operas performed in Scotland are shown in bold:-

01   La double échelle (Paris 1837) (de Planard)

02   Le perruquier de la Régence (Paris 1838) (de Planard & Duport)

03   Le panier fleuri (Paris 1839) (de Leuven & Brunswick)

04   Carline (1840) ()

05   Le Comte de Carmagnola (Paris 1841) (Scribe)

06   Le Guerillero (1842) ()

07   Angélique et Médor (1843) ()

08   Mina, ou Le ménage a trois (Paris 1843) (de Planard)

09   Le Caid (Paris 1849) (Sauvage)

10   Le songe d'une nuit d'été (Paris 1850) (Rosier)

11   Raymond, ou Le secret de la Reine (Paris 1851) (de Leuven & Rosier)

12   La Tonelli (1853) ()

13   La cour de Célimène (Paris 1855) (Rosier)

14   Psyché (Paris 1857, rev 1878) (Barbier & Carre)

15   Le carnaval de Venise (1857) ()

16   Gille et Gillotin (1859; prod 1874) ()

17   Le roman d'Elvire (1860) ()

18   Mignon (Paris 1866) (Barbier & Carre)

19   Hamlet (Paris 1868) (Barbier & Carre)

20   Françoise de Rimini (Paris 1882) (Barbier & Carre)

Roles in Scotland

Poet's Dream

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