Nicolas Isouard

Nicolas Isouard (or Nicolò Isouard) (b. 16 May 1773, Porto Salvo, Valletta, Malta – d. March 23, 1818, Paris) was a Maltese composer.

Isouard studied in Rabat or Mdina with Francesco Azopardi, in Palermo with Giuseppe Amendola, and in Naples with Nicola Sala and Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi. From 1795 he was organist at St. John de Gerusalemme in Valletta at the Conventual Church of the Order of Saint John, San Giovanni di Malta.

He moved to Paris, where he worked as a free composer and befriended composer Rodolphe Kreutzer. The pair worked together on several operas, including Le petit page ou La prison d'état (1800) and Flaminius à Corinthe (1801). Isouard adopted the pseudonym Nicolò (or Nicolò de Malte) and found rapid success in the field of opera comique with Michel-Ange (1802) and L'intrigue aux fenêtres (1805). He composed regularly for the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique, writing some thirty works for them.

He composed masses, motets, cantatas, romances, and duos, along with over 40 operas.

Isouard had two daughters, Sophie-Nicole (1809–?), a composer of romances, and Annette-Julie (1814–1876), and pianist and composer. His brother Joseph (1794–1863) had a career as a singer and opera director before being named inspector of historic monuments in Rouen. Nicolas Isouard was buried in Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. A bust of the composer was placed on one of the facades of both the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique and the Palais Garnier, and one of the main squares in Paris was given his name.

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