The New Student's Reference Work/Meyerbeer, Giacomo
Meyerbeer (mī′ẽr-bār), Giacomo, a musical composer, was born at Berlin, Prussia, Sept. 5, 1791. His name was Jakob Beer, to which he added the name of Meyer, a benefactor of his, and gave the whole name an Italian form. At the age of seven he played Mozart's music on the piano in public. His earlier works were unsuccessful and he proceeded to Italy for further study. He got hold at once of Rossini's style, which was just then popular, and brought out three operas, for the last of which he was crowned with laurel on the stage at Venice in 1824. In 1831 he produced Robert le Diable in an entirely new style, which cast even Rossini into the shade. After the success which followed the production of The Huguenots he was appointed chapel-master at Berlin. His Prophet appeared in 1849. In the comic opera, to which he now turned his attention, he wrote The Star of the North and Dinorah. His last work, L'Africaine, was not made public until a year after his death. He published many miscellaneous compositions, a Stabat, a Te Deum, some cantatas and songs. His operas are popular and frequently produced, especially at the Paris Opera. He died at Paris on May 2, 1864.