The composer who lost his bicentenary

The composer who lost his bicentenary


norman lebrecht

December 06, 2011

They have found one of his lost operas in Belgium, but it’s unlikely ever to be staged. André-Modeste Grétry had the misfortune to die in 1813, they year when Verdi and Wagner were born. His anniversary in 2013 will be marked by universal silence, poor chap. Grétry, born in Liège, was big in French Revolutionary times. His best-known aria is O Richard, O mon Roi, l’univers t’abandonne from the Crusader opera Richard the Lionheart.

The opera they have now discovered is called An Officer of Fortune. Don’t expect to see it any time soon.

Si l'on connaissait l'existence de cette oeuvre de Grétry, on n'avait par contre plus aucune trace du manuscrit.


  • Steve says:

    I would have thought Gretry’s bicentenary was in 1942, 200 years after his birth.

  • David Conway says:

    Verdi and Wagner? Pah!! What about Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1883)?

  • Cat Rogers says:

    At least he is still getting performed every now and again – Bampton Classical Opera are staging l’Amant Jaloux next year

  • Laurence Glavin says:

    In the US, some of the few classical stations that are left will play the ballet music from his “Cephale et Procris”. Very nice; I wonder if Delibes was familiar with it?