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Auber, Daniel-François-Esprit

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Auber, Daniel-François-Esprit, notable French composer; b. Caen, Jan. 29, 1782; d. Paris, May 12, 1871. He was a pupil of Ignaz Anton Ladurner. His first work for the stage, L’erreur d’un moment (1805; rev. as Julie, 1811), attracted the notice of Cherubini, who became his mentor. Auber first gained success as a composer with his opéra-comique, La bergère châtelaine (Paris, Jan. 27, 1820). Shortly after, he met the librettist Scribe, with whom he collaborated on many works for the stage until Scribe’s death in 1861. Following the success of Auber’s Le maçon (Paris, May 3, 1825), a significant work in the development of the opéra-comique genre, he scored an enormous success with his La muette de Portici (Paris, Feb. 29, 1828), a work that launched a new era in French grand opera. The latter’s vivid portrayal of popular fury stirred French and Belgian audiences, leading to revolutionary disturbances following its premiere in Brussels (Aug. 25, 1830). Another fine success followed with his opéra- comique Fra Diavolo (Paris, Jan. 28, 1830), the only score by Auber which remains in the standard repertory. Among his later stage works, the opéras-comiques La part du diable (Paris, Jan. 16, 1843), Haydée (Paris, Dec. 28, 1847), and Manon Lescaut (Paris, Feb. 23, 1856) were influential in the development of the opéra-lyrique genre. From 1842 to 1870 he served as director of the Paris Cons. In 1825 he was named a member of the Légion d’honneur. He was elected to the Inst. of the Académie in 1829. In 1852 Napoleon III appointed him music director of the imperial chapel.

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