15.1.11

Libretto authors - Montmartre Cemetery

After a short break, here is something more from the Montmartre Cemetery … and another cat.

Although you may, which is my case, prefer operas and operettas for the music, not so much for the story told, often resumed to something like “I love you”, “No you don’t” or “I’m dying”, “No you must not”… But words are needed. Two friends are buried at the Montmartre Cemetery. During twenty years they worked together on a major part of Offenbach’s operettas - or vice versa. So, at the cemetery, we can find the three, who together created “La Belle Hélène”, “La Vie Parisienne”, “La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein”, “La Périchole”… (See about Offenbach's tomb on previous post.)

We are talking about Ludovic Halévy (1837-1907)…
… and Henri Meilhac (1831-97).
(The lady in sorrow on Meilhac’s tomb is by Paul Bartholomé (1848-1928), who also made the great mortal monument at the Père Lachaise Cemetery.)

The two also wrote a great number of theatre plays, comedies, together… everything with great success.

In the tomb of Ludovic Halévy rests also his uncle Jacques Halévy (1799-1862). He was a musician and composer, today a bit forgotten, but one of his pupils was George Bizet. Jacques had two daughters, one was engaged to Ludovic, but she died before the marriage. The other one, Géneviève, married George Bizet....
… and Ludovic Halévy and Henri Meilhac wrote also the libretto to Carmen by Georges Bizet (who is buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery)!


Bizet died young, Géneviève got remarried, held a salon where not only Ludovic Halévy and Henri Meilhac, but also Degas (who painted Ludovic, see above), de Maupassant, Proust were frequent guests and Géneviève appears (with other names) in some of the writings of the two latter. She was also a leading personality to reestablish the honour of Louis Drefuys.

28 comments:

claude said...

Bonjour Peter !
Que de celébrités dans les cimetières de Paris.
J'ai vu un jour l'opéra de Carmen à la téloche avec Julia Miguenes Johnson et Placido Domingo, une merveille.
La photo de l'autre chat est très belle.
Bon week-end sous le ciel de Paris !

claude said...

Re moi. J'ai aussi un jour "La Belle Hélène". Cela m'avait bien plus aussi.

V Rakesh said...

Another very interesting figment of history! And that is a very well fed cat! :-)

ALAIN said...

Si même Peter se met à peupler son blog de chats on ne sera plus à l'abri nulle part !

Delphinium said...

Et il rentre dans les tombes... car il a vu le "bust of Jacques, inside the tomb"!!!!!

Bettina said...

I love the cat ;o) and the lady in sorrow is a very beautiful and moving sculpture.
Interesting captures as always, Peter.

Thérèse said...

J'ai vraiment du mal avec les operas, en ayant entendu un peu trop enfant! Mais cela ne m'empeche pas de m'y interesser et d'avoir tout lu, ici je precise, avec attention.

Studio at the Farm said...

Beautiful photos and fascinating stories once again. Thank you, Peter.

Synne said...

The cat is so pretty! As is the rest of the post. Have a good one, Peter!

caterpillar said...

So many colors...great information....and I love the first pic...of the cat....

dcboyer said...

Very interesting article and I loved that you put the video in.

Ola said...

the picture with a cat is so dramatic!

Ola said...

the picture with a cat is so dramatic!

Ola said...

the picture with a cat is so dramatic!

Starman said...

Today must be "scare the crap out of the Paris lovers" day. Everyone's blog is so morbid today.

Maddalena said...

What a handsome Mr Cat! :-)

Thank you for another great story from your magical city.

Maddalena said...

ps. I was playing "Carmen" on my final exam in secondary music school. I love it!

Trotter said...

We'll have a Carmen in Lisbon this year! In June...

Cheryl said...

The cemeteries there are so beautiful. But that bust of Jaques is such a good likeness it's eery, like a ghost.

Owen said...

You are going to get us all hooked on these history lessons Peter !

Love your cat too, really have to get around to posting the cats I saw in there not long ago... will link to your post here when I do...

Hope you all had a great time last week with visitors from the US, work was too crazy for me to get away this time. Hopefully next time...

BLOGitse said...

What a lesson again. And great shots.
Have a good week ahead!

Sandy said...

J'adore Carmen et je ne connaissais la Carmen de Grace Bumbry. Merci beaucoup Peter.

Virginia said...

Great post as always Peter. I do believe that is the same cat I shot through the fence that day n'est-ce pas?? :)
V

ParisBreakfasts said...

I'm not usually a cemetery-goer but you make them irresistable Peter!

joanny said...

Peter:

I love this series you have been photographing and documenting these varied and talented souls.
I do agree with you Peter-- this time period and collective souls who had come to Paris and formed a community of an incredible mobilization of ideas, energy, and talent, the magnitude of which arrives but few times in history. Now as you ask the question of the 21st century -- I would like to think it will be a collection of bloggers who mobilized their ideas, energy and talents -- some of us will meet in person and some will never meet in real time -- but we have formed a nice bonded community never the less.

joanny

Hotel la Defense said...

Very profound representation of the cemetery. Good choice of pics.

Jeanie said...

This post has much to enchant me -- Montmartre, wonderful history, music and of course, a cat!

Anai Le said...

¡Cuidado con Carmen!

(Y con ese gato.)