(b Paris, 5 March 1827; dSaint Germain-en-Laye, 22 May 1905). French composer. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in October 1841, gaining second prize for harmony in 1846, first prize in 1847 and the second Grand Prix in 1849. From 1847 to 1866 he was professor of solfège at the Conservatoire, and from 1859 professor of harmony for military bands. He became director of music at the Portuguese synagogue, and published a collection of Hebrew tunes in 1854. He was an early contributor to Offenbach's Bouffes-Parisiens with the one-act operetta Le duel de Benjamin (1855), followed by Le roi boit (1857) and several more. Les deux arlequins (1865) and Le canard à trois becs (1869) gave him success abroad, and their production at the Gaiety Theatre, London, led to a commission for the three-act Cinderella the Younger (1871), later produced in Paris as Javotte. Le chignon d'or (1873) was his last work of real significance. La bonne aventure (1882) and Le premier baiser (1883), his opéras comiques, achieved little success. Though a composer of lively music in the vein of Offenbach and Hervé, he lacked their individuality and inspiration.
operettas, unless otherwise stated
Le duel de Benjamin (1, E. Mestépès), PBP, Oct 1855; La parade (1, J. Barbier), PBP, 2 Aug 1856; Le roi boit (1, Jaime fils and Mestépès), PBP, 9 April 1857; La Momie de Roscoco (1, E. Ortolan and E. de Najac), PBP, 27 July 1857; Les petits prodigues (1, Jaime fils and E. Tréfeu), PBP, 19 Nov 1857; Job et son chien (1, Mestépès), PBP, 6 Feb 1863; Le manoir de Larenardière (1, Mestépès), PBP, 6 Feb 1864; Avant la noce (1, Mestépès and P. Boisselot), PBP, 24 March 1865
Roi Midas (1, C. Nuitter), private perf., 1865; Les deux Arlequins (1, Mestépès), Paris, Fantaisies-Parisiennes, 29 Dec 1865; Malborough s'en va-t-en guerre (opéra bouffe, 4, W. Busnach and P. Siraudin), Athénée, 15 Dec 1867 [musical collab, G. Bizet, I. Legouix, L. Delibes]; Le canard à trois becs (opéra bouffe, 3, J. Moinaux), Folies-Dramatiques, 6 Feb 1869; Désiré, sire de Champigny (fantaisie, 3, Désiré), PBP, 11 April 1869
Cinderella the Younger (3, A. Thompson), London, Gaiety, 23 Sept 1871; perf. as Javotte (Nuitter and Tréfeu), Athénée, 22 Dec 1871; Le chignon d'or (3, E. Grangé and Tréfeu), Vienna, Strampfertheater, 20 March 1873; Die Japanesin (3, Grangé, V. Bernard), Vienna, Theater an der Wien, 24 Jan 1874 [addl. material by R. Genée and F. Zell]; La bonne aventure (opéra bouffe, 3, H. Bocage and de Najac), Théâtre de la Renaissance, 3 Nov 1882; Le premier baiser (opéra comique, 3, de Najac and R. Toché), Théâtre des Nouveautés, 21 March 1883