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Michael William Balfe
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Michael W. Balfe was an Irish singer and composer. After his father, who was a dancing master, died in 1823, he was sent to London. He played as a violinist at Drury Lane Theatre. He studied composition with C.F. Horn. Balfe appeared as a singer in Webern’s Freischütz and in Rossini’s Barbiere as Figaro.
In 1830 he produced the first of his 29 operas (“Un avvertimento ai gelosi”) in Palermo. Later he had much success as a composer in Paris, London, Berlin, St. Petersburg and Trieste.
In 1854 he returned to England and took up farming on his own property in Hertfordshire.