Honegger, Arthur (opera)
- Geoffrey K. Spratt
(b Le Havre, March 10, 1892; d Paris, Nov 27, 1955). Swiss composer . As a child, before receiving harmony lessons in Le Havre, he wrote two operas, Philippa and Sigismond, and started a third, Esmeralda (after Victor Hugo: Notre-Dame de Paris), but nothing of these survives. After studying at the Zürich Conservatory (1909–11) he enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire and continued there until 1918, apart from a brief interruption at the beginning of World War I (1914–15), when he was required to serve as a frontier guard in Switzerland because he held dual Swiss-French nationality. He made his home in Paris (Montmartre), but visited Switzerland for holidays and for performances of music he wrote for Swiss institutions.
He had composed ballets and incidental music for several plays before he came to international attention with the incidental music he wrote for René Morax’s ‘drame biblique’, ...