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Michael Balfe by Haase

Michael Balfe by Haase
Michael William Balfe (1808-1870); Irish baritone and composer.

He began his musical career as a violinist, but very soon he started vocal studies which he continued in Italy with the famous bass Filippo Galli. In 1827 he made his debut in Paris as Figaro in Rossini's "Il Barbiere di Siviglia". He returned to Italy, where he was based for the next eight years, singing and composing several operas. In 1834 he performed in Milan at "La Scala" as Jago in Rossini's "Otello" together with Maria Malibran as Desdemona. In 1835 he returned to London. His work as a composer became more and more important and eventually overshadowed his singing career. His most successful composition was the opera "The Bohemian Girl" (1843).