Carafa, Michele Enrico


Italian composer and teacher, the son of Prince Colobrano, Duke of Alvito. He was born in Naples, and wrote many operas. He studied under Cherubini, Fazzi and other teachers, then entered the army and became an officer in the body-guard of Murat, King of Naples. He made the campaign in Russia, was decorated by Napoleon, and occupied many important positions. He settled in Paris after the battle of Waterloo and adopted music at his profession. In 1828 he was appointed professor of composition at the Paris Conservatory, at the suggestion of his former teacher, Cherubini. Became a member of the Institut, in 1837, and was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. Was also a director of the Military School. His first opera was II Fantasma, and this, as well as his later ones, achieved a great amount of popularity despite the vogue of Auber and Rossini. His compositions for the piano were also very much liked. He produced his operas, Gabriele, Ifigenia; and Bernice in Italy, and a number in Vienna, which city saw the first production of Le Solitaire in 1822. Five years later he became a resident of Paris and there brought out La Violette. His best operas were Masaniello, which is not to be confounded with Auber's opera of the same name, and La Prison d'Edimbourg. He wrote in all about thirtyfive operatic pieces; masses and a Stabet Mater; orchestral and pianoforte music; ballets and several smaller pieces. He died in Paris. Says one writer: " Carafa's music is rather shallow and more clever than learned. His works are all of them pleasing and he had a decided comic faculty.