Meyerbeer Compact

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Meyer Beer was born on September 5th at the Poststation in Tasdorf (today Rüdersdorf near Berlin).

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The pianist and composer Franz Seraphinius Lauska from Brno teaches Meyer Beer on the piano and gives him classes in composition. On the 14th of October Meyer Beer gives his first public concert in Berlin with Mozart’s Piano Concert in d minor. He is the first jew who gets attention as an artist by the public.


He enters the Singakademie Berlin and gets classes on composition by Carl Friedrich Zelter.


Beginning of the lessons under the Royal Kapellmeister Bernhard Anselm Weber. The jewish enlightener Aron Wolfssohn becames Meyerbeer’s educator and mentor.


Meyer Beer combines his name to Meyerbeer. On April 1, he travels to Darmstadt with his brother Heinrich and Aron Wolfssohn and attends the musical school of Georg Joseph Vogler. He received lessons in counterpoint and in four-part composition. His classmates are Carl Maria von Weber, Gottfried Weber, Johann Baptist Gänsbacher and Alexander von Dusch.


Successful world premiere of the lyrical rhapsody Gott und die Natur (God and Nature) for soloists, choir and orchestra conducted by Bernhard Anselm Weber on May 8th in the Royal National Theater in Berlin.

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The training from Vogler is over. Meyerbeer travels to Munich and becomes friends with the court clarinettist Heinrich Bearmann. The opera Jephtas Gelübde, which premiered on December 23 at the Royal Court and National Theater in Munich, was not a lasting success.


On January 6, 1813, the comedy with singing Wirth und Gast or Alimelek premiered in Stuttgart. The Grand Duke appoints Meyerbeer court composer. Move to Vienna. Meeting with Antonio Salieri. Friendship with Ignaz Moscheles, Louis Spohr, the actor Carl Schwarz and the singer Cathinka Buchwieser.


On the occasion of the performance of Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory on January 2nd in Vienna, Meyerbeer beats the bass drum and Beethoven reprimands him, a traumatic experience for Meyerbeer. On October 20th, his opera Wirth und Gast is performed at the Kärtnertortheater under the title The Two Caliphs. First stay in Paris at the end of December 1814. Meyerbeer faces a creative crisis: pianist or composer?

Photo T.K.


First journey to London with his brother Wilhelm in November.


Educational trip through Italy. Salieri encourages Meyerbeer to do this: He should study Italian opera! Milan, Verona, Florence, Bologna, Genoa, Rome, Naples and Sicily. There is hardly an evening without opera or theatre. Meyerbeer writes down and collects Italian folk songs by ear. They inspire him.


Meyerbeer lives mostly in Venice, where he makes contact with the librettist Gaetano Rossi, who writes the libretto for his first Italian opera, Romilda e Costanza. Meyerbeer finds himself in the wake of Italian opera. Rossini’s Tancredi leaves a strong impression on him. Romilda e Costanza will have its world premiere on July 19 in Padua. A notable success.


Together with his brother Michael, Meyerbeer travels to Parma via Cremona, where he meets the famous castrati Giovanni Battista Velluti, who Meyerbeer admires.


Semiramide, Meyerbeer’s second Italian opera, premieres in Turin on February 3, 1819. The third opera in Italian, Emma di Resburgo, is performed in Venice on June 26th.


On November 14th Margherita d’Anjou premieres in Milan.


In January, Jacob Herz Beer unsuccessfully urges his son to marry Marianne von Eskeles, a daughter of the Viennese banker Bernhard von Eskeles.

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The opera L’esule di Granata premieres in Milan on the 12th of March.


In June, Meyerbeer left Venice for Paris, where he expresses his interest in French opera.


Triumphant premiere of the fifth and last Italian opera Il crociato in Egitto on March 7th in Venice, staged by Meyerbeer himself. From then on he belonged to the pinnacle of European opera. The castrato Velluti sings the main role. For the first time in 14 years, Meyerbeer comes to Berlin for a short visit, where the concert hall in the Beer Villa in the Tiergarten is inaugurated on August 3rd. Last meeting with Carl Maria von Weber.


On August 25th, Il crociato in Egitto will be performed at the Théâtre-Italia in Paris. Acquaintance with Alexander von Humboldt, from which a lifelong friendship develops.

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Meyerbeer’s father dies in Berlin on October 27th. In November, Meyerbeer returnes to Berlin and on November 28 proposed to his cousin Minna Mosson, who was 13 years younger. It is possible that Amalie Beer arranged the connection.


The marriage to Minna takes place on May 25th in Berlin. Minna’s dowry is 50,000 thalers. The newly married couple moves to Paris. Carl Maria von Weber dies in London on June 5th. Meyerbeer promises to complete Weber’s opera The Three Pintos. He won’t succeed

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In January he mets Eugène Scribe and Germain Delavigne. Joint project: Robert le Diable for the Opéra comique. Return to Berlin and move into an apartment at Unter den Linden 26. On August 16th, daughter Eugenie is born, who passes on December 9th.


Treatment stay in the Spa, Belgium. Birth of his only son Alfred on October 31st.

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Alfred Meyerbeer dies in Berlin on April 13th. Move to Paris again in the summer. Resumption of the Robert le Diable project for the Paris Opéra.


Meyerbeer is accepted as a member of the Paris Académie Royale des Sciences of the Institut de France. On July 15th, daughter Blanca is born in Baden-Baden


On June 22nd rehearsals for Robert le Diable begin, on November 21st the premiere takes place at the Opéra. A great success.

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On January 15th Meyerbeer was appointed Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, on January 21st a member of the teaching committee of the Paris Conservatoire. Journey to London to study and perform Robert le Diable. Early departure for Berlin, where the Berlin premiere of Robert le Diable takes place in the Royal Opera on June 20th. Frederick William III. appoints Meyerbeer court conductor. Return to Paris and contracts with Scribe and the director of the Opéra Véron for a new operatic project, resulting in Les Huguenots.


Meyerbeer’s youngest brother Michael Beer dies on March 22nd at the age of 33 in Munich, where he is buried in the Jewish cemetery.

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On May 1st, Meyerbeer is elected a full member of the Prussian Academy of Arts.


Stays in Milan, Modena, Bologna and Florence, where Meyerbeer hears Bellini’s Norma which leafes a strong impression. Cure in Baden-Baden. Onward journey to Schwalbach, from there to Paris, and in December back to Baden-Baden, where he spends Christmas with his family.


Departure for Paris on April 23rd to prepare the premiere of Les Huguenots. Meyerbeer is a perfectionist. Preparations and rehearsals begin in mid-August.


World premiere of Les Huguenots on February 29th at the Opéra.

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On February 4th, Richard Wagner takes up correspondence with Meyerbeer. Meyerbeer’s daughter Cäcilie is born on March 10th in Paris. May 24th contract with Scribe for the opera project L’Africaine. Meyerbeer is made an officer in the Légion d’honneur on August 9th.


On August 2nd, new contract with Scribe for Le Prophète. Spa stay in Schwalbach


In the summer cures in Baden-Baden, Ems and Boulogne-sur-Mer. Meyerbeer’s mother Amalie and his brother Heinrich with his wife Betty are also coming. First encounter with Richard Wagner. Return to Paris in autumn. Contact with Heinrich Heine and Frédéric Chopin.


Frederick William III. dies on June 7th. His successor is Friedrich Wilhelm IV, whom Meyerbeer has known since childhood. Cure in Ems.


Contractual delivery of the libretto of the Prophète in Paris in March. The family moves to Berlin, where a representative apartment in Schadowstr. 14 is obtained.


Meyerbeer’s youngest daughter Cornelie Agathe is born on March 4th in Berlin. Berlin premiere of Les Huguenots on May 20th. On May 31st, he was awarded the Order Pour le mérite of the peace class. On June 11th, he was appointed Royal General Music Director and court conductor. The first court concert conducted by Meyerbeer takes place on June 15th in Sanssouci. Cure in Schwalbach and return to Paris. Meyerbeer’s brother Heinrich dies in Berlin on October 21st. Admittance to the Paris Masonic Loge Le Grand Orient de France on November 3rd.


On January 3rd, Meyerbeer is made an honorary member of the Singakademie Berlin. Big court concert on January 14th in the Berlin Palace, including with Franz Liszt. On February 28th, masked ball and festival The Court Festival of Ferrara with Meyerbeer’s music in the Berlin Palace. The Royal Opera burns down on the night of August 18-19. Frederick William IV orders the immediate reconstruction and commissions Meyerbeer to compose a festive opera with scenes from the life of Frederick the Great.

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On December 7th, after 16 months of construction, the Royal Opera is inaugurated with Meyerbeer’s Ein Feldlager in Schlesien. Regular performances until 1891.

The Royal Opera after reconstruction. Collection T.K.


On February 5th, Friedrich Wilhelm IV submitts a request to perform stage works by German composers at the Court Opera. State visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in Brühl and Stolzenfels Castle. Meyerbeer conducts court concerts there, among others with Franz Liszt, Pauline Viardot-Garcia and Jenny Lind.


In January the family moves to Behrenstrasse 72, on the corner of Wilhelmstrasse. On September 19th, performance of Michael Beer’s play Struensee. Meyerbeer composes an overture and incidental music. Leave of absence for an indefinite period as general music director of the opera. Meyerbeer is now responsible for the court music and writes expert opinions.

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Journey to Vienna, where the opera Vielka (adaptation of Ein Feldlager in Schlesien) with Jenny Lind is successfully performed on February 18th. Cure in Franzensbad. In the winter months with Minna and the children in Venice.


Back to Berlin in mid-May, in summer with the family in Ischl. Return to Paris. In November, the rehearsals of Le Prophète begin.


World premiere of Le Prophète on April 16th in Paris. On May 3rd, Meyerbeer was appointed commander of the Légion d’honneur. Cure in Ischl and Gastein. Return to Paris in September.

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Return to Berlin to the new apartment at Pariser Platz 6A. First performances of Prophète on January 30th in Dresden, in Vienna on February 28th. Meyerbeer leads the rehearsals and conducts. On March 27th, his brother Wilhelm dies in Berlin. The Berlin premiere of Le Prophète takes place on April 28th. Cure in Spa, then to Paris, back to Berlin in November.


Member of the Senate of the Berlin Academy of Arts. On May 31st, the monument to Frederick the Great opposite the opera is inaugurated. Meyerbeer composes the festive cantata Ode an Rauch for soloists, choir and orchestra. Cure in Boulogne-sur-Mer. serious illness. Return to Berlin via Paris in November.


Spa, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Paris.


World premiere of the 91st Psalm for soloists and two a cappella choirs on May 8th in the Friedenskirche in Sanssouci Park, a composition commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm IV for the cathedral choir. In Paris, Meyerbeer conducts rehearsals for the Opéra comique L’Étoile du Nord.


World premiere of L’Étoile du Nord on February 16th in Paris. It is a reworking of the Feldlager in Schlesien. Scribe wrote the libretto.

Collection T.K.

On June 27th, 1854, Meyerbeer’s mother, Amalie Beer, dies of old age in Berlin. Cure at Spa. In September he travels to Stuttgart, where L’Étoile du Nord is performed on September 10th under the title Der Nordstern. Meyerbeer receives the commander’s cross of the Württemberg crown and was raised to the nobility. Meyerbeer never uses this title.


Meyerbeer directs the preparation and performance of Der Nordstern in Dresden, which takes place on February 9th. On June 14th Journey to London, where L’Étoile du Nord, conducted by Stella del Nord, is met with thunderous applause at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Last encounter with Richard Wagner. Paris, Spa, Paris again, then via Cologne and Dresden to Vienna, where L’Étoile du Nord is performed at the end of December.


Journey to Italy from January 7th. Sights and numerous visits to the opera are on the program. In focus: the operas of Verdi. Stays in Venice, Mantua, Padua, Milan, Verona, Florence, Siena, Pisa, Parma … . Return journey via Vienna to Berlin. Then a few days for a cure in Spa. In mid-September return to Berlin.


Spa, Paris, Nizza


Berlin. Intensive study of Vasco da Gama (originally L’Africaine). In Paris at the end of September to prepare the premiere of the opéra comique Le pardon de Ploërmel.


Le pardon de Ploërmel premieres in Paris on April 4th. The libretto was written by Michel Carré and Jules Barbier.

Schattentanz der Dinorah. Painting by Bernd W. Kliche

Journey to London, where Le pardon de Ploërmel is performed in the Italian version with recitatives on July 26th. At the end of July departure via Berlin to Spa and Baden-Baden. Then to Paris, where Meyerbeer composes a march and a festive hymn for the return of Schiller’s 100th birthday on November 10th. Commissioned by the Paris-based German male choir Teutonia. In the Cirque des Champs Élysées there are 4000 attendees. In December to Stuttgart for the preparation and performance of Dinorah or Le pardon de Ploërmel on December 21st. Then travel to Dresden.


The Dresden premiere of Dinorah takes place on January 12th. Return to Berlin. Cure in Schwalbach, Paris, Meyerbeer returns to Berlin in September.


Friedrich Wilhelm IV dies on the night of January 1st and 2nd, and Wilhelm I succeeds to the throne. For the coronation celebrations in Königsberg, Meyerbeer composes a festive hymn for choir and orchestra and a coronation march for two orchestras. For health reasons, he is not traveling to the celebrations in Königsberg, which take place on October 21st. Invitation to London for the 1862 World’s Fair.


Arrival in London on April 23rd. On May 1st, Meyerbeer’s overture in march form premieres at the opening of the world exhibition. He is highly honored and celebrated. Return to Berlin at the end of May, then treatment in Ems and Schwalbach.


On May 30th, Meyerbeer drafts his will and decreed the founding of the Meyerbeer Foundation for Music Artists. The foundation is later dissolved under the Nazis. Last meeting with Minna Meyerbeer in Kissingen. Cure in Schwalbach and Baden-Baden. Then back to Paris.


Meyerbeer dies in Paris on May 2nd. Funeral service on May 6th at the Gare du Nord. Transfer of the body to Berlin. Burial on May 9th at the Jewish cemetery on Schönhauser Allee.

Family grave on the Jewish cemetery on Schönhauser Allee. Photo T.K.


Posthumous premiere of the opera Vasco da Gama entitled L’Africaine on April 28 in Paris.

Cast of the world premiere. Collection T.K.
Pays merveilleux. The famous aria of Vaso. Collection T.K.
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Collection T.K.

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