Marie-Julie Halligner

Last updated
Lithograph of Marie-Julie Halligner by Louis Stanislas Marin-Lavigne Marie-Julie Halligner.jpg
Lithograph of Marie-Julie Halligner by Louis Stanislas Marin-Lavigne

Marie-Julie Boulanger, née Marie-Julie Halligner (29 January 1786 – 23 July 1850), was a French mezzo-soprano. [1] She performed her entire career under the stage name Mme Boulanger, appearing in the world premieres of Le maître de chapelle , L'ambassadrice , Le domino noir , and La fille du régiment .

A mezzo-soprano or mezzo (, ; Italian: [ˈmɛddzo soˈpraːno] meaning "half soprano") is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range lies between the soprano and the contralto voice types. The mezzo-soprano's vocal range usually extends from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above (i.e. A3–A5 in scientific pitch notation, where middle C = C4; 220–880 Hz). In the lower and upper extremes, some mezzo-sopranos may extend down to the F below middle C (F3, 175 Hz) and as high as "high C" (C6, 1047 Hz). The mezzo-soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, lyric, and dramatic mezzo-soprano.

<i>Le maître de chapelle</i> opéra comique in two acts

Le maître de chapelle, ou Le souper imprévu is an opéra comique in two acts by the Italian composer Ferdinando Paer. The French libretto, by Sophie Gay, is based on Le souper imprévu, ou Le chanoine de Milan by Alexandre Duval (1796).

<i>Lambassadrice</i> opera by Daniel-François-Esprit Auber

L'ambassadrice is an opera or opéra comique in 3 acts by composer Daniel Auber. The work's French language libretto was written by Eugène Scribe and Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges. The opera's world premiere was staged by the Opéra-Comique at the Théâtre des Nouveautés in Paris on 21 December 1836. It was revived in Paris on 4 January 2013 by the opera company Les Frivolités Parisiennes at the initiative of two research fellows who specialized in nineteenth-century historically informed performance, Pierre Girod and Charlotte Loriot.


Born in Paris, [2] her parents were middle-class shopkeepers. [3] She was the older sister of Sophie Halligner, an actress at the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe and the Théâtre de l'Ambigu-Comique who had married the actor Frédérick Lemaître in 1826. [4] Halligner entered the Paris Conservatory in 1806 to study solfeggio; [2] she was a pupil of Charles-Henri Plantade and Pierre-Jean Garat. [5]

Odéon-Théâtre de lEurope theater

The Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe is one of France's six national theatres.

Théâtre de lAmbigu-Comique theater

The Théâtre de l’Ambigu-Comique, a former Parisian theatre, was founded in 1769 on the boulevard du Temple immediately adjacent to the Théâtre de Nicolet. It was rebuilt in 1770 and 1786, but in 1827 was destroyed by fire. A new, larger theatre with a capacity of 2,000 as compared to the earlier 1,250 was built nearby on the boulevard Saint-Martin at its intersection with the rue de Bondy and opened the following year. The theatre was eventually demolished in 1966.

Frédérick Lemaître French actor

Frédérick Lemaître — birth name Antoine Louis Prosper Lemaître — was a French actor and playwright, one of the most famous players on the celebrated Boulevard du Crime.

Halligner's debut at the Opéra-Comique in 1811 was considered "an immense success". A notable soubrette at the Opéra-Comique between 1811 and 1835, she continued performing until 1845, though her voice had started to fail her in the later years. [5] She created the role of Lady Pamela in Fra Diavolo in 1830. [1] She performed in the world premieres of at least three opéra comique. She played the role of Gertrude in Le maître de chapelle , by Ferdinando Paer, 1821; Madame Barneck in L'ambassadrice , by Daniel Auber, 1836; and the Marquise of Berkenfield in La fille du régiment by Gaetano Donizetti, 1840. Her other performances included the works of André Grétry, Nicolas Isouard, François-Adrien Boieldieu. [6] Her voice was reportedly "fine, her execution brilliant and her acting full of character and intelligence." [7] After retirement in 1845, she concentrated on teaching activities in Paris. [6]

Opéra-Comique opera company in Paris

The Opéra-Comique is a Parisian opera company, which was founded around 1714 by some of the popular theatres of the Parisian fairs. In 1762 the company was merged with, and for a time took the name of its chief rival the Comédie-Italienne at the Hôtel de Bourgogne, and was also called the Théâtre-Italien up to about 1793, when it again became most commonly known as the Opéra-Comique. Today the company's official name is Théâtre national de l'Opéra-Comique, and its theatre, with a capacity of around 1,248 seats, sometimes referred to as the Salle Favart, is located in Place Boïeldieu, in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, not far from the Palais Garnier, one of the theatres of the Paris Opéra. The musicians and others associated with the Opéra-Comique have made important contributions to operatic history and tradition in France, and to French opera. Its current mission is to reconnect with its history, and discover its unique repertoire, to ensure production and dissemination of operas for the wider public. Mainstays of the repertory at the Opéra-Comique during its history have included the following works which have each been performed more than 1,000 times by the company: Cavalleria Rusticana, Le chalet, La dame blanche, Le domino noir, La fille du régiment, Lakmé, Manon, Mignon, Les noces de Jeannette, Le pré aux clercs, Tosca, La bohème, Werther and Carmen, the last having been performed more than 2,500 times.

A soubrette is a type of operatic soprano voice fach, often cast as a female stock character in opera and theatre. The term arrived in English from Provençal via French, and means "conceited" or "coy". A soubrette is also defined as a young woman regarded as flirtatious or frivolous.

Fra Diavolo Italian guerilla leader

Fra Diavolo, is the popular name given to Michele Pezza, a famous Neapolitan guerrilla leader who resisted the French occupation of Naples, proving an "inspirational practitioner of popular insurrection". Pezza figures prominently in folk lore and fiction. He appears in several works of Alexandre Dumas, including The Last Cavalier: Being the Adventures of Count Sainte-hermine in the Age of Napoleon, not published until 2007 and in Washington Irving's short story "The Inn at Terracina".

Halligner was the wife of cellist and professor of the Paris Conservatory, Frédéric Boulanger, whom she had met during her studies there. Her son, Ernest Boulanger, winner of the Grand Prix de Rome in 1835, [8] was a composer of comic operas; her daughter-in-law, Princess Raissa Mychetsky, descended from St. Mikahil Tchernigovsky. [9] Her granddaughters, Nadia Boulanger and Lili Boulanger, also competed in the Prix de Rome, Nadia earning second place in 1908 and Lili taking the first prize in 1913. [8]

Frédéric Boulanger was a French cellist and professor of singing at the Paris Conservatory. From Dresden, he was the winner of the first prize in cello at the Conservatory in 1797 and a Professor of cello, attached to the King's Chapel. He was the father of Ernest Boulanger, a composer of comic operas, husband to mezzo-soprano Marie-Julie Halligner of the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique and grandfather to Nadia Boulanger and Lili Boulanger. He left his family though when Ernest was a small child.

Ernest Boulanger (composer) French composer

Ernest Henri Alexandre Boulanger was a French composer of comic operas and a conductor. He was more known, however, for being a choral music composer, choral group director, voice teacher, and vocal contest jury member.

Prix de Rome French scholarship for arts students

The Prix de Rome or Grand Prix de Rome was a French scholarship for arts students, initially for painters and sculptors, that was established in 1663 during the reign of Louis XIV of France. Winners were awarded a bursary that allowed them to stay in Rome for three to five years at the expense of the state. The prize was extended to architecture in 1720, music in 1803, and engraving in 1804. The prestigious award was abolished in 1968 by André Malraux, the Minister of Culture.

Related Research Articles

Giacomo Meyerbeer German-born opera composer

Giacomo Meyerbeer was a German opera composer of Jewish birth who has been described as perhaps the most successful stage composer of the nineteenth century. With his 1831 opera Robert le diable and its successors, he gave the genre of grand opera 'decisive character'. Meyerbeer's grand opera style was achieved by his merging of German orchestra style with Italian vocal tradition. These were employed in the context of sensational and melodramatic libretti created by Eugène Scribe and were enhanced by the up-to-date theatre technology of the Paris Opéra. They set a standard which helped to maintain Paris as the opera capital of the nineteenth century.

Daniel Auber French composer

Daniel François Esprit Auber was a French composer.

Nadia Boulanger French musician and teacher

Juliette Nadia Boulanger was a French composer, conductor, and teacher. She is notable for having taught many of the leading composers and musicians of the 20th century. She also performed occasionally as a pianist and organist.

Lili Boulanger French composer

Marie-Juliette Olga "Lili" Boulanger was a French composer, and the first female winner of the Prix de Rome composition prize. Her older sister was the noted composer and composition teacher Nadia Boulanger.

<i>Robert le diable</i> opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer

Robert le diable is an opera in five acts composed by Giacomo Meyerbeer from a libretto written by Eugène Scribe and Germain Delavigne. Robert le diable is regarded as one of the first grand operas at the Paris Opéra. It has only a superficial connection to the medieval legend of Robert the Devil.

Comédie-Italienne usapiti come

Comédie-Italienne or Théâtre-Italien are French names which have been used to refer to Italian-language theatre and opera when performed in France.

Jean-Blaise Martin French opera singer

Jean-Blaise Martin, full name Nicolas Jean-Blaise Martin was a French opera singer whose tessitura lay between tenor and baritone, which became later known as "baryton-martin".

Laure Cinti-Damoreau singer

Laura Cinti-Damoreau was a French soprano particularly associated with Rossini roles.

<i>Dinorah</i> opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer

Dinorah, originally Le pardon de Ploërmel, is an 1859 French opéra comique in three acts with music by Giacomo Meyerbeer and a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. The story takes place near the rural town of Ploërmel and is based on two Breton tales by Émile Souvestre, "La Chasse aux trésors" and "Le Kacouss de l'Armor", both published separately in 1850 in the Revue des deux mondes.

Théâtre dOrléans former opera theater in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

The Théâtre d'Orléans was the most important opera house in New Orleans in the first half of the 19th century. The company performed in French and gave the American premieres of many French operas. It was located on Orleans Street between Royal and Bourbon. The plans for the theatre were drawn up by Louis Tabary, a refugee from the French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti). Construction began in 1806, but the opening was delayed until October 1815. After a fire, it was rebuilt and reopened in 1819, led by another émigré from Saint-Domingue, John Davis. Davis became one of the major figures in French theatre in New Orleans. The theatre was destroyed by fire in 1866, but the ballroom is still used.

Théâtre Lyrique former opera company in Paris

The Théâtre Lyrique was one of four opera companies performing in Paris during the middle of the 19th century. The company was founded in 1847 as the Opéra-National by the French composer Adolphe Adam and renamed Théâtre Lyrique in 1852. It used four different theatres in succession, the Cirque Olympique, the Théâtre Historique, the Salle du Théâtre-Lyrique, and the Salle de l'Athénée, until it ceased operations in 1872.

Caroline Girard was a French operatic soprano. She was the mother of Juliette Simon-Girard.

Rosine Stoltz French operatic mezzo-soprano

Rosine Stoltz was a French mezzo-soprano. A prominent member of the Paris Opéra, she created many leading roles there including Ascanio in Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini, Marguerite in Auber's Le lac des fées, the title role in Marie Stuart, and two Donizetti heroines, Léonor in La favorite and Zayda in Dom Sébastien.

Julie Dorus-Gras singer

Julie Dorus-Gras was a Belgian operatic soprano.

Salle de la Bourse former theatre in Paris, France

The Salle de la Bourse was a Parisian theatre located on the rue Vivienne in the 2nd arrondissement, across from the Paris Bourse, hence the name. It was successively the home of the Théâtre des Nouveautés (1827–1832), the Opéra-Comique (1832–1840), and the Théâtre du Vaudeville (1840–1869). The theatre was demolished in 1869.

Marie Cabel coloratura soprano

Marie Cabel was a Belgian coloratura soprano. She is probably best remembered for having created the role of Philine in Ambroise Thomas's opera Mignon.

Jean Delvoye was a Belgian baritone, who, after working in the French provinces, enjoyed a long career in Paris, centred on the Opéra-Comique, and left some recordings representative of his repertoire.


  1. 1 2 Meyerbeer, Giacomo; Letellier, Robert Ignatius (1999). The Diaries of Giacomo Meyerbeer: 1791–1839. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 106. ISBN   978-0-8386-3789-0 . Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  2. 1 2 Kendall, Alan (1976). The tender tyrant, Nadia Boulanger: a life devoted to music : a biography. Macdonald and Jane's. p. 4. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. Huyghe, René (1982). Lili et Nadia Boulanger (in French). La Revue Musicale. p. 71. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  4. Tamvaco, Jean-Louis; Guest, Ivor Forbes (2000). Les cancans de l'Opéra (in French). CNRS editions. p. 611. ISBN   978-2-271-05742-6 . Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  5. 1 2 Grove, Sir George (1904). Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Public domain ed.). Macmillan Company. pp. 371–. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  6. 1 2 Castellani, Giuliano (2008). Ferdinando Paer: Biografia, Opere E Documenti Degli Anni Parigini (in Italian). Peter Lang. pp. 364–. ISBN   978-3-03911-719-2 . Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  7. Grove, George; Fuller-Maitland, John Alexander. A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A. D. 1450–1889). Forgotten Books. p. 263. ISBN   978-1-4400-6429-6 . Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  8. 1 2 Dunbar, Julie C. (17 December 2010). Women, Music, Culture: An Introduction. Taylor & Francis. p. 218. ISBN   978-0-415-87562-2 . Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  9. Campbell, Don G. (August 1984). Master teacher, Nadia Boulanger. Pastoral Press. p. 17. ISBN   978-0-912405-03-2 . Retrieved 28 April 2012.