Robert Ignatius Letellier (born 1953, in Durban, South Africa) is a cultural historian and a writer on the history of music, Romantic literature and the Bible.
He received a doctorate in English Romanticism from the University of Salzburg and has published more than one hundred articles and books on subjects including the Bible, eighteenth and nineteenth century novels, especially the works of Sir Walter Scott, and 19th-century music.
Letellier is particularly noted for scholarship on the life and works of the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer. Letellier's four-volume translation of the composer's diaries has been cited as "the most important work on the composer to be published in English to date".He has also published several studies of the composer's operas and other works which have played an important part in the revaluation of Meyerbeer, the most popular composer of the 19th century, whose works fell into almost complete neglect in the 20th but are now being rediscovered.
As editor and translator:
Giacomo Meyerbeer was a German opera composer of Jewish birth, "the most frequently performed opera composer during the nineteenth century, linking Mozart and Wagner". 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.
Les Huguenots is a French opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer, one of the most popular and spectacular examples of the style of grand opera. In five acts, to a libretto by Eugène Scribe and Émile Deschamps, it premiered in Paris in 1836.
Balbina Steffenone was a 19th-century soprano.
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.
L'Africaine is an 1865 French grand opéra in five acts with music by Giacomo Meyerbeer and a libretto by Eugène Scribe. Meyerbeer and Scribe began working on the opera in 1837, using the title L'Africaine, but around 1852 changed the plot to portray fictitious events in the life of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama and introduced the working title Vasco de Gama, the French version of his name. Meyerbeer completed the full score the day before he died in 1864.
Il crociato in Egitto is an opera in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer, with a libretto by Gaetano Rossi. It was first performed at La Fenice theatre, Venice on 7 March 1824. The part of Armando was sung by the famous castrato, Giovanni Battista Velluti; the opera was probably the last ever written to feature a castrato. It is the last of Meyerbeer's series of operas in Italian, and became the foundation of the composer's international success.
Margherita d'Anjou is an opera semiseria in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. The Italian libretto was by Felice Romani after a text based on legends around the English Wars of the Roses by René Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt. The title role is the Queen Margaret of Shakespeare's Henry VI plays, who also appears in Richard III. Margherita d'Anjou is the first opera by Meyerbeer to mix historical events and personages with fictional characters and situations, as his French grand operas Les Huguenots, Le prophète and L'Africaine were later to do. It is the fourth of Meyerbeer's Italian operas and was his first international success.
L'esule di Granata is a melodramma serio in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. The Italian libretto was by Felice Romani based on the rivalries between the Zegridi and the Abenceraggi factions in the last days of the kingdom of Granada. It is the fifth of Meyerbeer's Italian operas but had only three confirmed stagings in the 19th century. The world premiere took place at La Scala, Milan, on 12 March, 1822.
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.
Lodovico Graziani was an Italian operatic tenor. According to John Warrack and Ewan West, writing in The Oxford Dictionary of Opera: "His voice was clear and vibrant, but he lacked dramatic gifts." He is now mainly remembered for having created the role of Alfredo Germont in the world premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata in 1853.
Franz Seraphin Lauska, baptised as Franciscus Ignatius Joannes Nepomucensis Carolus Boromaeus, was a Moravian pianist, composer, and teacher of Giacomo Meyerbeer. The name "Seraphin" was a later name affix, which Lauska never used. Lauska was considered "one of the most brilliant executants of his time."
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.
José Melchor Gomis y Colomer was a Spanish Romantic composer. He was born in 1791 in Ontinyent, Vall d'Albaida, Valencia Province.
Le portefaix is an opéra comique in three acts composed by José Melchor Gomis. The libretto by Eugène Scribe is based on an episode in Le Comte de Villamayor by M. Mortonval. It was originally offered to the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer, but he was contracted instead by the opera manager Louis Véron to create a five-act grand opera.
Emma di Resburgo is a melodramma eroico in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. It was the composer's sixth opera and the third that he wrote for an Italian theatre. The libretto in Italian by Gaetano Rossi is set in Scotland and has the same storyline as previous operas by Étienne Méhul (Héléna, Paris, 1803, to a French text) and Simon Mayr. Meyerbeer's opera had its premiere at the Teatro San Benedetto Venice on 26 June 1819.
Caroline Barbot, born in Paris 27 April 1830, died 17 September 1893, was a French operatic soprano. She is most notable for creating the role of Leonora in "La Forza del Destino" by Verdi in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1862.
Die beiden Kalifen is an 1813 opera in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer, to a libretto by Johann Gottfried Wöhlbruch, based on a tale from the Arabian Nights.
Roger de Flor is an opera in 3 acts by Ruperto Chapí for libretto by Mariano Capdepón. It is the third of the three operas composed by Chapí during his studies in Paris and Italy. It was staged for the first time at the Teatro Real (Madrid) on 23 January 1878. The first modern performance was on 10 March 2012 in Palau de la Música de València.
Carolina Cortesi was an Italian contralto who in her brief career sang in the premieres of several operas of the early 19th century. Most notably, she created the roles of Eduardo in Rossini's Eduardo e Cristina and Edemondo in Meyerbeer's Emma di Resburgo.