, originally Sylvia ou La Nymphe de Diane
, is a full-length ballet
in two or three acts
, first choreographed
by Louis Mérante
to music by Léo Delibes
in 1876. Sylvia
is a typical classical ballet in many respects, yet it has many interesting features which make it unique. Sylvia
is notable for its mythological Arcadian
setting, creative choreographies
, expansive sets and, above all, its remarkable score
. The ballet's origins are in Torquato Tasso
's 1573 verse drama Aminta
, which describes the basic plot of Delibes' work. Jules Barbier
and Baron de Reinach
adapted this for the Paris Opera
. The piano arrangement was composed in 1876 and the orchestral suite was done in 1880. When Sylvia
premiered on 14 June 1876 at the Palais Garnier
, it went largely unnoticed. In fact, the first seven productions of Sylvia
were not successful.
Wilhelm Richard Wagner (; German pronunciation: ['?i.ça?t 'va?.n?]; 22 May 1813, Leipzig, Germany – 13 February 1883, Venice, Italy) was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they were later called). Unlike most other great opera composers, Wagner wrote both the scenario and libretto for his works.
Richard Wagner was born at no. 3 ('the House of the Red and White Lions'), the Brühl, in Leipzig, on 22 May 1813, the ninth child of Carl Friedrich Wagner, who was a clerk in the Leipzig police service. Wagner's father died of typhus six months after Richard's birth, following which Wagner's mother, Johanna Rosine Wagner, began living with the actor and playwright Ludwig Geyer, who had been a friend of Richard's father. In August 1814 Johanna Rosine married Geyer, and moved with her family to his residence in Dresden. For the first 14 years of his life, Wagner was known as Wilhelm Richard Geyer. Wagner may later have suspected that Geyer was in fact his biological father, and furthermore speculated incorrectly that Geyer was Jewish.
Geyer's love of the theatre was shared by his stepson, and Wagner took part in his performances. In his autobiography, Wagner recalled once playing the part of an angel. The boy Wagner was also hugely impressed by the Gothic elements of Weber's Der Freischütz. In late 1820, Wagner was enrolled at Pastor Wetzel's school at Possendorf, near Dresden, where he received some piano instruction from his Latin teacher. He could not manage a proper scale but preferred playing theatre overtures by ear. Geyer died in 1821, when Richard was eight. Consequently, Wagner was sent to the Kreuz Grammar School in Dresden, paid for by Geyer's brother. The young Wagner entertained ambitions as a playwright, his first creative effort (listed as 'WWV 1') being a tragedy, Leubald begun at school in 1826, which was strongly influenced by Shakespeare and Goethe. Wagner was determined to set it to music; he persuaded his family to allow him music lessons.