Hector Berlioz and Harriet Smithson 50 Shades of Obsession

When Hector Berlioz went to see a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Paris in 1827, he could hardly have guessed that it would turn into a life-changing experience!

by Georg Predota | March 13th, 2019
Louis Marchand and Marie Angélique Denis A Toxic Affair

Louis Marchand (1669-1732) had an extremely colorful and unpredictable personality. While he was lavishly praised for his prodigious keyboard talents and skills, his reputation was not founded on musical abilities alone. In one famous, and documented instance, soon after his [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 12th, 2019
The Organist and the Poetess Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger and Franziska von Hoffnaaß

He was the “Wunderkind” from Lichtenstein, and she a poetess of distinction. They got married in 1867, and although the union remained childless, their marriage was a happy one. One might actually consider it the perfect relationship; she supplied the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 29th, 2019
Franz Schubert and the Countess

The memoirs of Franz Schubert’s friends are full of references to Caroline Esterházy. In fact, Eduard von Bauernfeld wrote in February 1828. “Schubert was, in fact, head over ears in love with one of his pupils, a young Countess Esterházy, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 26th, 2018
“Giulio Caccini’s Women” Lucia, Francesca, Settimia, and Margherita

Professionally, Giulio Caccini (1551-1618) was known as an accomplished singer and the inventor of a new musical style that had the power to “move the affections of the soul.” Privately, he seemed to have been a difficult and proud man, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 11th, 2018
Giaochino Rossini and Olympe Pélissier “Eating, loving, singing, and digesting are the four acts of the comic opera known as life”

It is not clear when Giaochino Rossini and Olympe Pélissier first met, but by 1832 they were undoubtedly in a relationship. He had departed for Paris in 1830 and had left his wife Isabella Colbran unceremoniously behind. She was an [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 20th, 2018
Super Couple Giaochino Rossini and Isabella Colbran

They probably first met in Bologna around 1815, and the union between Giaochino Rossini and Isabella Colbran was to become one of the most successful artistic alliances in the history of music. Rossini was a rising star when he was [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 13th, 2018
Mission Impossible Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Désirée Artôt

The Belgian mezzo-soprano Désirée Artôt (1835-1907) studied with Pauline Viardot and Francesco Lamperti in London and in Paris. She started her career at the Paris Opera in 1858 when Giacomo Meyerbeer engaged her to sing in his Le prophète. Berlioz, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 23rd, 2018