Ravel, (Joseph) Maurice (opera)
- Roger Nichols
(b Ciboure, Basses Pyrénées, March 7, 1875; d Paris, Dec 28, 1937). French composer. His family went to Paris when he was three months old and the city remained his home until 1921, when he moved to a village some 30 miles to the south-west. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1889, left in 1895 after an undistinguished career, but returned to join Fauré’s composition class in 1898, the year of his first known operatic project, Shéhérazade, of which only the overture survives.
During the next ten years he made a name for himself with works for piano like Jeux d’eau and Miroirs, and the String Quartet, but he continued to work at operatic projects, including La cloche engloutie, based on Gerhart Hauptmann’s play Die versunkene Glocke, and Olympia, based on E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Der Sandmann. One of Ravel’s pupils has claimed that parts of Olympia were used in the first of Ravel’s two completed operas, ...