Thomas, (Charles Louis) Ambroise (opera)
- Elizabeth Forbes
(b Metz, Aug 5, 1811; d Paris, Feb 12, 1896). French composer. He brought a fresh lyricism to opéra comique and, with Mignon, composed one of the most popular works in the history of opera.
The son of a musician, Thomas began to play the piano at an early age and in 1828 entered the Paris Conservatoire, where his teachers included Pierre-Joseph-Guillaume Zimmermann for piano and Le Sueur for composition. In 1832 he won the Prix de Rome with a cantata, Herman et Ketty, and subsequently spent three years in Italy. His first opera, the one-act comedy La double échelle, produced by the Opéra-Comique in 1837, scored a considerable success and received 247 performances before it was dropped from the repertory. His next three operas, produced at the rate of one a year, made little mark, although Le panier fleuri (1839), another one-act piece, was adapted as ...