Léo Delibes
from Coppélia

Léo Delibes, French composer and organist of the Romantic Period (1825-1900) in music, was born on February 21, 1836 in St. Germain du Val, France and died on June 16, 1891 in Paris, France. After his father’s death in 1847, the family moved to Paris, where he studied voice and keyboard at the Paris Conservatory.

In 1849 (at age 13) Delibes sang in the premier of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s (1791-1864) Opera Le Prophète (The Prophet). At age 17, he became organist at St. Pierre de Chaillot and accompanist at the Théâtre-Lyrique, where he worked on Charles Gounod’s (1818-1893) Opera Faust (1859 - the vocal score was his arrangement), Georges Bizet’s (1838-1875) Opera Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers, 1863) and Hector Belioz’s (1803-1869) Opera Les troyens (The Trojans, 1863).

In 1856 he began writing light Operettas for the Théâtre-Lyrique, at about one per year for the next 14 years; he composed his first Ballet La Source in 1866 in collaboration with Léon Minkus (1826-1917).

The Ballet Coppélia (full name: Coppélia, ou La Fille aux yeux d’émail - Coppélia, or the daughter with enamel eyes), based on the writings of E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822 - also a composer), about a doll maker’s doll which comes to life, opened at the Théâtre-Lyrique on May 2, 1870; it remains today one of the most popular and best loved classical ballets.

Delibes married in 1871 and resigned as organist at St. Pierre de Chaillot and from the Théâtre-Lyrique, in order to devote his time entirely to composition. He wrote fewer works but they were much larger in scope: Le roi l’a dit (a Comic Opera, 1873), Sylvia (a Ballet, 1876), Jean de Nivelle (an Opera, 1880) and Lamké (an Opera, 1882). In 1881 he also became Professor of Composition at the Paris Conservatory.

9”X12” - 8 pages - $14.95
Piano accompaniment part - 4 pages
CD - 30 Audio tracks

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