Hérold, (Louis Joseph) Ferdinand
- Elizabeth Forbes
(b Paris, Jan 28, 1791; d Paris, Jan 19, 1833). French composer. Primarily an opera composer, he wrote some of the most enduring masterpieces in the genre of opéra comique.
Hérold’s father, François-Joseph Hérold, was a piano teacher who died when Ferdinand was only 11. In 1806, at the age of 15, the son entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied piano with his godfather Louis Adam (father of the composer Adolphe Adam), violin with Rodolphe Kreutzer and composition with Méhul. In 1812 Hérold won the Prix de Rome with his cantata Mademoiselle de la Vallière which was sung at the prize-giving concert by the soprano Mme Branchu. He stayed only one year in Rome, then travelled on to Naples where his first opera, La gioventù di Enrico quinto, was performed at the Teatro del Fondo on 5 January 1815, with the tenor Manuel García in the title role. Hérold then went to Vienna, where he heard operas by Weigl and Salieri as well as Mozart’s ...