Emmanuel Bondeville

Emmanuel Bondeville was a French composer and music administrator, born 29 October 1898 in Rouen, and died 26 November 1987 in Paris. He was a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.


As a young man he was organist at the church of Saint-Nicaise in Rouen and Notre-Dame in Caen. Bondeville lost both his parents when he was 16, and took on various jobs – organist, bank clerk, translator - to get by.[1] He made his beginnings in music around 1923 writing works for piano, symphonic poems, opéras-comiques and opéras. During this time he also travelled around Europe and worked as an assistant in a music shop. He eventually had lessons in harmony and counterpoint from Jean Déré.[1] In 1935 he became musical director of the radio stations Radio Tour Eiffel, Radio Paris, Radiodiffusion française then artistic director of Radio Monte-Carlo.

From 1949 to 1951 Bondeville was director of the Opéra-Comique,[2] followed by a similar position at the Opéra de Paris from 1952 to 1969.

He was married three time among which to the mezzo-soprano Viorica Cortez, to whom he dedicated his opera Antoine et Cléopâtre, and later to Dominique Plessis (with whom he broadcast programmes entitled ‘Une saison d'opéra’ on France-Inter)


  • Les Illustrations, symphonic triptych comprising :
    • Le Bal des pendus (first performed 6 December 1930 by the Lamoureux Orchestra)
    • Ophélie (1931)
    • Marine (1933)
  • L'École des maris (opéra-comique after Molière), premiered at the Opéra-Comique on 19 June 1935 conducted by Albert Wolff
  • Madame Bovary, drame lyrique after Flaubert, premiered at the Opéra-Comique on 1 June 1951 in a production by Louis Musy, conducted by Albert Wolff, with Jacqueline Brumaire in the title role.[2]
  • Illustrations pour Faust, (1942)
  • Gaultier-Garguille, symphonic poem, (1951)
  • Symphonie lyrique, (1956)
  • Symphonie chorégraphique (1961)
  • Antoine et Cléopatre, opera (1972) premiered at the Opéra de Rouen in 1974

Titles, honoursEdit


  1. ^ a b Landormy P. La Musique Française après Debussy. Gallimard, Paris, 1943.
  2. ^ a b Wolff S. Un demi-siècle d'Opéra-Comique (1900-1950). André Bonne, Paris, 1953.

External linksEdit