French composer. His music, which consists almost entirely of operas, is brilliant and charming, rather than profound. Halévy's daughter married Georges Bizet, who finished Halévy's last opera, Noe, as Le Deluge.
From 1809 he studied at the Paris Conservatory under Luigi Cherubini, who was both a friend and a strong musical influence. After twice taking a second prize, he won the Prix de Rome in 1819. He continued to study in Italy, and on his return to Paris tried to gain a foothold on the operatic stage, for which he had already written more than one work. He succeeded with L'Artisan in 1827, after which he wrote an enormous number of operas. In the same year he became professor of harmony and accompaniment at the Conservatory, of counterpoint and fugue in 1833, and of composition in 1840.
WorksOpera about 40, including La Dilettante d'Avignon, Ludovic (begun by Hérold), La Juive (1835), L'Éclair, Guido et Ginevra, Le Shérif, Le Guitarréro, La Reine de Chypre, Charles VI (1843), Les Mousquetaires de la reine (1846), Le Val d'Andorre, La Fée aux roses, La tempestà (in Italian, after Shakespeare, 1850), La Dame de Pique (after Mérimée), Le Juif errant (after Sue), Jaguarita l'indienne (1855), La Magicienne, and others.
BalletYella, Manon Lescaut (after Prévost).
Other incidental music to Prométhée enchaîné (translated from Aeschylus); cantatas Les derniers moments du Tasse, La mort d'Adonis and Herminie; funeral march and De profundis on the death of the duc de Berry.