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Balfe Return to List of Composers
Michael Balfe was born in Ireland in 1808. This composer belonged to the Romantic period, and died in 1870. Balfe

Michael William Balfe (1808-1870)    was born in  Dublin, Ireland. He was the son of a dancing schoolmaster. Young Balfe showed good musical ability at an early age. In Dublin he took violin and music lessons.  He went to London when his father died in 1823, apprenticed himself to an organist and music-teacher, and soon got a position as violinist in the orchestra of the Drury Lane Theatre. 

He found that he had a voice and thought he might make a success as an opera-singer. His d�but was a failure, but Count Mazzari became interested in Balfe and took him to Italy, where Balfe studied singing for two years, and in 1828 took the part of Figaro in a performance of Rossini's "Barber of Seville" at the Th��tre des Italiens at Paris. After a modestly successful singing career in Italy and France, he returned to London in 1835 where he commenced his enormously successful career as an operatic composer, at the age of only 27!

His most successful operetta is "The Bohemian Girl," first performed at the Drury Lane Theatre, London, November 27, 1843, It was then performed all over the world throughout the remainder of the 19th century, and translated into several other languages. Balfe died at the age of 62 at his home near London, England.


Works written by Balfe      
Audio is available for 3 tunes by this composer.
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