Ambroise Thomas

Thomas by Wilhelm Benque, c. 1895
Thomas in 1834 by Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin
Le caïd, 1849
Jean-Baptiste Faure as Hamlet, painted by Manet
Thomas, about 1865
Statue of Thomas in Paris.

French composer and teacher, best known for his operas Mignon (1866) and Hamlet (1868).

- Ambroise Thomas
Thomas by Wilhelm Benque, c. 1895

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Christina Nilsson

Swedish operatic soprano.

Swedish operatic soprano.

Pandora by Alexandre Cabanel, 1873. Nilsson was the model for this painting.
Mdlle. Nilsson, (c) 1870. Carte de Visite Collection, Boston Public Library.

In 1868, Nilsson transferred from the Théâtre Lyrique to the Paris Opera, where she created the role of "Ophelia" in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet.

Jean-François Le Sueur

French composer, best known for his oratorios and operas.

French composer, best known for his oratorios and operas.

From the beginning of 1818, he taught composition at the Conservatoire, where over the years he had for pupils Hector Berlioz, Ambroise Thomas, Charles Gounod, Louis Désiré Besozzi and Antoine François Marmontel.

Emma Albani

Canadian-British operatic soprano of the 19th century and early 20th century, and the first Canadian singer to become an international star.

Canadian-British operatic soprano of the 19th century and early 20th century, and the first Canadian singer to become an international star.

Emma Albani at age 5
Emma Albani at the time of her debut as Amina
Albani as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser.
Caricature from Punch, 17 September 1881: "MADAME ALBANI. A Thing of Beauty is a Gye for ever!"
Albani as Desdemona.
Emma Albani in 1899

Before her London contract began, she returned to Italy to study with Lamperti at Lake Como, and then appeared at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, giving one last series of nine performances in ten days in the title role of Ambroise Thomas's Mignon, a part she studied with the composer in Paris prior to her making her debut in the role.

Melba, c. 1907

Nellie Melba

Australian operatic soprano.

Australian operatic soprano.

Melba, c. 1907
Melba, drawn by Frank Haviland
Melba in costume for Lucia di Lammermoor, 1888 (photo by Nadar)
Philippe, Duke of Orléans
Melba as Marguerite in Faust
Melba in 1904
Melba in 1913
Melba with the Metropolitan Opera
Newspaper advertisement
HMV advertisement for Melba recordings (1904)
Statue of Melba at Waterfront City, Melbourne Docklands

She then went to Paris to study with the leading teacher Mathilde Marchesi, who instantly recognised the young singer's potential: she exclaimed, "J'ai enfin une étoile! ("I have a star at last!"). Melba made such rapid progress that she was allowed to sing the "Mad Scene" from Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet at a matinée musicale in Marchesi's house in December the same year, in the presence of the composer.

Emma Calvé as Carmen

Emma Calvé

French operatic soprano.

French operatic soprano.

Emma Calvé as Carmen
Poster for Emma Calvé in Massenet's Sapho, Opéra-Comique, Paris, 27 November 1897
Emma Calvé (1895)
Poster of Calvé in La Navarraise
Slumber song as sung by Mme Calvé. Published as a supplement to the New York Herald, 19 April 1903. Cover includes photograph of Emma Calvé.

She sang Ophélie in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet in Paris in 1899, but the part was not suited to her and she dropped it.

Portrait of Titta Ruffo, c. 1920s

Titta Ruffo

Italian operatic baritone who had a major international singing career.

Italian operatic baritone who had a major international singing career.

Portrait of Titta Ruffo, c. 1920s
Titta Ruffo early in his career
Ruffo as Rigoletto
Titta Ruffo in the US, c. 1910–15

He was also renowned for his interpretations of several baritone parts in operas that are largely forgotten today, namely, the title roles in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet and Franchetti's Cristoforo Colombo plus Cascart in Leoncavallo's Zazà and Neri in Giordano's La cena delle beffe.

Title page of first edition

Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

Second novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1795–96.

Second novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1795–96.

Title page of first edition

The 1866 opera Mignon by Ambroise Thomas is based on Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship.

Jean-Baptiste Faure photographed at the height of his operatic career in Paris and London

Jean-Baptiste Faure

Celebrated French operatic baritone and an art collector of great significance.

Celebrated French operatic baritone and an art collector of great significance.

Jean-Baptiste Faure photographed at the height of his operatic career in Paris and London
Unfinished portrait of Jean-Baptiste Faure by Édouard Manet
Jean-Baptiste Faure as Hamlet, painted by Édouard Manet in 1877

He remained at the Opéra-Comique for over seven years, singing baritone roles such as Max in Adolphe Adam's Le chalet and Michel in Thomas's Le caïd.

Pierre Zimmerman, portrait by Antoine-Jean Gros, ca. 1815.

Pierre-Joseph-Guillaume Zimmerman

French pianist, composer, and music teacher.

French pianist, composer, and music teacher.

Pierre Zimmerman, portrait by Antoine-Jean Gros, ca. 1815.
Grave in cimetière d'Auteuil.

Among his students were Charles Gounod (who married one of his daughters), Georges Bizet, César Franck, Charles-Valentin Alkan, Ambroise Thomas, Louis Lacombe, Alexandre Goria and Lefébure-Wély.

Lenepveu, 1890

Charles Lenepveu

French composer and teacher.

French composer and teacher.

Lenepveu, 1890

In 1864, on Chauvet's recommendation, he was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied composition under Ambroise Thomas.