Delibes, Léo

BORN 21 Feb 1836, St. Germain-du-Val, Sarthe - DIED 16 Jan 1891, Paris
BIRTH NAME Delibes, Clément Philibert Léo
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière de Montmartre, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 09, ligne 01, numéro 75)

Léo Delibes was the son of a mailman. His mother was an amateur musician and his grandfather an opera singer. His father died early and he was raised by his mother and an uncle. In 1847 he started studying composition under Adolphe Adam at the Conservatory in Paris. He was engaged as chorus master at the Théâtre Lyrique and in 1864 as second chorus master at the Paris Opéra. In 1865 he wrote his first operetta "Deux sous de charbon, ou Le suicide de Bigorneau". His cantata "Algers" for Napoleon III made him more well known and his ballet "Coppélia" about a mechanical dancing doll attracted much attention.

In 1871 he married Léontine Estelle Denain. In 1873 he wrote his opera "Le roi l'a dit" and in 1876 another ballet, "Sylvia". In 1877 he was made a Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur. His best known opera was "Lakmé" (1883). His health was always fragile and he died in Paris in 1891, aged 55. The Spanish author Miguel Delibes is his grandson.

Related persons
• was pupil of Adam, Adolphe-Charles
• was teacher of Jaques-Dalcroze, Émile

25/5/1870Premiere of the ballet "Coppélia" by Léo Delibes at the Théâtre Impérial l'Opéra in Paris. The choreographer was Arthur Saint-Léon. The very young Giuseppina Bozzacchi was Swanhilda. Frantz was played by Eugénie Fiocre. Emperor Napoleon III attended the performance. [Napoleon III Bonaparte]
14/6/1876Premiere of Delibes' ballet "Sylvia" at the Opera in Paris. Louis Alexandre Mérante was the choreographer and Rita Sangalli was the main performer. 


The grave of Léo Delibes at Montmartre Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (19 May 2005)


Léo Delibes - Wikipedia
Sylvia (ballet) - Wikipedia

Delille, Jacques

Published: 27 Jan 2019
Last update: 23 Sep 2022