Michael William Balfe (1808-70), composer and singer
Graphite and wash on paper, 19 x 16.2 cm
Purchased, Dublin, Mrs. A. Catterson Smith, 1912
Maclise illustrates the composer and singer, Michael William Balfe, looking at the score of The Bohermian Girl. Dublin-born Balfe was a musician who, from a young age, excelled at violin and composition. He composed numerous operas in his life time; however The Bohemian Girl proved to be his greatest success. The opera opened on Drury Lane on 27 November, 1843 and ran for over one hundred nights. It was translated into Italian, French and German and became an international success – the only nineteenth century English opera to achieve such fame.