June 17, 2018 is the 200th birth anniversary of the French composer Charles Gounod

Charles Gounod is a French opera composer, musical critic, and writer-memoirist. The founder of the French lyric opera genre.

Charles-François Gounod was born on June 17, 1818 in a suburb of Paris in the artist's family. He received his musical education in Paris Conservatoire.

In 1839, he was awarded the Rome Prize, which provided an opportunity to travel for public account in Italy to improve skills. In 1840, Gounod left for Italy; he also visited Berlin, Leipzig and Vienna. The journey lasted until 1843. On returning, Gounod obtained the appointment of a church organist and regent, which he occupied until 1848.

In 1851, he debuted as a composer with the opera "Sappho". In 1852 he became the director of the "Orpheum" (the Paris association of amateur choral associations); wrote two liturgies and two symphonies (1854, 1855), but his soul tended towards opera genre.

In 1858 he created the opera "Le Médecin malgré lui” (“The Healer / doctor in spite of himself”), and a year later – his major and the best work - the opera "Faust". The plot was based on the first part of the homonymous tragedy by J.Goethe.

The successive operas of the composer – “Baucis and Philemon” (1860) and “Mireille” (1864) – failed with the public.

The second upsurge of Gounod's creative inspiration was the opera “Romeo and Julie” (1867), based on the tragedy by William Shakespeare. It caused the enthusiasm of the audience and critics.

During the Franco-Prussian war, Gounod moved from Paris to London, where he lived from 1870 to 1875.
Since 1871, he was the conductor of the London Royal choral society.
In 1875, the composer returned to Paris, where he remained until his death. He died on October 18, 1893.

Other interesting facts from the biography of the famous composer are in the section Authors.