Irish composer, singer, violinist and conductor Michael William Balfe was born in Dublin on 15 May 1808, studying with his dancing master and violinist father, and also with William Rooke. He moved to London when his father died, worked as a violinist in the Theatre Royal Orchestra and also as a singer and a composer. Later he moved to Italy, then back to London, and retired to Hertfordshire, where he died at Rowney Abbey on 20 October 1870.
His compositions include twenty-nine or more operas (including The Bohemian Girl and Satanella), a symphony, several cantatas and hundreds of songs.
Profile. No Vulgar Commercialiser - George Colerick tells the story of Louis Jullien, a French impressario, composer and conductor famous in London in the nineteenth century
CD Spotlight. A Genuine Knockout - Balfe's 'Satanella', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... a work made in Heaven, sparkling, joyous and overtly uplifting.'