This page recounts in sixty eight dates the main stages of Charles Gounod's life. You will also find below four cross-references leading to additional information containing a lot of illustrations on various aspects of his life. In "Gounod in family" you will discover some of the relatives of the composer (Grandparents, parents, in-laws, wife, children and brothers-in-law), in "Gounod's acquaintances" you will learn about more than 80 personalities with whom he kept company and who, for some, played an important role in his career. In "Gounod summarized" you will have a illustrated brief of his life and works, and in "Gounod in St-Rémy", you will discover the life of the composer during his stay in Saint-Rémy.


Gounod in family



St Remy
Gounod in

(Sorry, maybe soon in english.)

June 17, 1818
Birth of Charles Francois Gounod, 11, place St-André des Arts in Paris,
second son of Louis Francois Gounod, painter and engraver,
and Lemachois Victoire, daughter of a former lawyer at the Parliament of Normandy.

Death of Louis Francois Gounod. To raise her two children, Charles (1818-1893)
and Louis Urban (1807-1850), Victory Lemachois gives piano lessons.

Charles Gounod entered the Lycée Saint-Louis. It will emerge Bachelor (1835)

January 1831
Charles Gounod went with her ​​mother to a performance of Othello, Rossini's
with Malibran in the role of Desdemona.

New initiative with the Don Juan of Mozart.
Both events decide the young to become a musician Gounod

Gounod is entrusted to the Czech composer Reicha and Halevy for counterpoint and fugue, and finally Lesueur in the composition.
It is presented for the first time in the Prix de Rome.

Gounod presenting for the third both won the Grand Prix de Rome.
The winner wrote a first mass, presented at Saint-Eustache.

December 5, 1839
He left for Italy in the company of Hector The Fuel, architectural awards.

January 27, 1840
Arrival in Rome. The Director of the Villa Medici is then Ingres,
figure among the residents Hébert prize for painting and future friend of Gounod.

Winter 1840-41
The young musician first meets Fanny Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn's sister, who introduced him to music German; and Pauline Viardot, sister of Malibran and future interpreter of his works and also the father Lacordaire, came to Rome in order to restore the Order of the Dominicans. At the Villa Medici, Gounod is invited to events organized by Ingres. On this occasion, he played his first tunes: Le Vallon, le soir ...

1st May 1841
Gounod composed and conducted a mass at St. Louis of the French in Rome
on the occasion of the feast of King Louis-Philippe.

Gounod left for Vienna

Septembre 1842
He attended a performance of Magic Flute Mozart's
and the execution of his Mass in St. Louis to St. Charles Church in Vienna.

end of April 1843
Gounod went to Leipzig and met the German musician Mendelssohn.

November 1843
Returned to France, Gounod was appointed choirmaster of Foreign Missions. He found the father of Bishop Antheon. Gounod composed a Messe Brève for male voices, chant du départ des missionnaires and several cantatas.

October 1847
The Archbishop of Paris authorized Gounod to wear clerical garb. He lives in the house of the Carmelites and took courses in theology at Saint-Sulpice Seminary. His letters are then signed "Abbé Gounod."

in March 1848
Resigned Gounod Foreign Missions

Gounod leaves Saint-Sulpice. He met Pauline Viardot again in 1840.
The singer recommend the librettist Émile Augier.
In collaboration is born his first opera, Sapho.

April 16, 1851
First of Sapho to the opera with Pauline Viardot in the title role.
The critique gives a critical success to the author.

April 20, 1852
Marriage of Gounod with Anna Zimmerman, daughter of Pierre-Joseph Zimmerman, a professor at the Conservatory.
From that date, Gounod many will stay in Saint-Cloud, in the property of his in-laws where he will then build a cottage.

May 30, 1852
Gounod was appointed Director General of the teaching of singing in schools of Paris, and director of the Brass band, choral movement of the working classes.

Run for the first time in Méditation sur le 1er prélude de J.S. Bach, who became in 1859 the famous Ave Maria.

October 18, 1853
Death of his father-Pierre-Joseph Zimmerman.

October 18, 1854
First of the Nonne sanglante Opera the Rue Le Peletier; failure.

Gounod metthrough Lionnet brothers, singing in full glory of his future collaborators, the librettist Jules Barbier and Michel Carré.

November 22, 1855
Messe de Sainte-Cécile created Eustatius to the memory of Pierre-Joseph Zimmerman.

January 6, 1856
Gounod was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

June 8, 1856
Birth of his son Jean.

July 1856
In honor of Napoleon III, Charles Gounod wrote "Vive l'Empereur" the official anthem of the Second Empire.

Throughout the year,Gounod composed Faust the score is refused by the Opera.
Gounod and his colleagues Barbier and Carré, then directed to Leon Carvalho, director the Theatre Lyrique, who agrees to get the work.

January 15, 1858
Creation of Médecin malgré lui at the Théatre-Lyrique. It is a success.

January 16, 1858
Death of Victory Lemachois, mother of the composer.

March 19, 1859
Creation of Faust at the Théâtre-Lyrique with Caroline Miolan-Carvalho, Marguerite first in history.
This is the first major success. The opera will be played in many other theaters, both abroad and in France. In Paris, Faust was performed 314 times on the different stages of the Lyric Theatre until April 1869,
and 166 times from 1869 to 1875 at the Opera (Le Peletier and Ventadour rooms).

February 18, 1860
Creation of Philémon et Baucis in Théâtre-Lyrique.

August 1861
Gounod working on a new Opera: La Reine de Sabat, to a libretto by Barbier and Carré.

November 1861
He stayedat Chateau de Compiegne from 11 to 24.

February 28, 1862
The first of Reine de Saba is failure

Mars 1863
Gounod deals with a new Mireille, book,
from a poem by Frederic Mistral of Provence.
The poet invites Gounod to come and work in Provence.
The composer stayed there from March 21 to May 28, to Maillane first, then to Saint-Remy de Provence.

September 1863
Birth of his daughter Jeanne.

March 19, 1864
Mireille, presented at the Theatre Lyrique, with Caroline Miolan-Carvalho, gets little success.

May 12, 1866
Gounod was elected at the Academy of Fine Arts.

August 13, 1866
Gounod was promoted officer of the Legion of Honor.

April 27, 1867
Creation of Romeo et Juliette at the Theatre-Lyrique with Caroline Carvalho.
The opera was a great success in Paris.
It will then be played in London with Adelina Patti in the role of Juliet.

in July 1870
Gounod completed Polyeucte which will be presented only eight years later.

September 13, 1870
Under pressure from events, forfeiture of the Empire, proclamation of the Republic and early the siege of Paris, Gounod arrived in Liverpool, then moved to London with his family.

February 26, 1871
Gounod meeting for the first time the couple Weldon.
His house at Saint-Cloud is destroyed, a new cottage will be built after the war.

1st May 1871
First of Gallia, motet composed for soprano, chorus and orchestra.

May to July 1871
Anna Zimmerman, his mother and her children returned to France. Gounod settled in Weldon.

December 1871
Georgina Weldon founded a choral society at the Albert Hall with the composer. She sings as a soloist and Gounod wrote the scores. The musician composed a lot. He produced many songs.
Gounod becomes overworked, anxious, and suffered several "seizures".

June 8, 1874
Taken by friends, including Dr. White, Gounod returned to France. It should take steps to recover papers left in Weldon, whose manuscript Polyeucte. Refusal to Georgina Weldon and trial.

May 1876
Léon Carvalho, director of the new comic opera, commissioned an opera Gounod Cinq-Mars.

Summer-Fall 1876
Gounod wrote Cinq-Mars anda Mass of Sacré-Coeur de Jésus .

April 5, 1877
Creation of Cinq-Mars to the Opera-Comique, ended in failure.

August 4, 1877
Gounod was appointed Commander of the Legion of Honor.

Oct. 21, 1877
It opens Cavaille-Coll organ installed in the Church of St. Cloud.

October 7, 1878
Creation of Polyeucte the Opera Garnierwith Gabrielle Krauss. Representation is a failure.
Gounod then wrote the Tribut de Zamora .
Gounod was appointed Great Officer of the Legion of Honor.

1st April 1881
the First Tribut de Zamora to the opera with G. Krauss,
another failure, after which Gounod permanently waives the theater.

August 30, 1882
Gounod runs for the first time of Redemption,
sacred trilogy written ten years earlier.
The hearing in Birmingham was a success.

May 10, 1885
Judgement in London against Gounod for Georgina Weldon.

August 26, 1885
Creation of Mors et Vita,
sacred trilogy, in Birmingham under the direction of Hans Richter.
Gounod can go to the hearing because the ruling delivered on 10 May.

July 24, 1887
Gounod leads to the cathedral of Reims Messe à la mémoire de Jeanne d'Arc .

4 November 1888
500th of Faust at the Opera directed by the composer.

May 10, 1888
Death of Mrs. Zimmerman, mother-in-Gounod, Saint-Cloud .

He wrote astudy of Don Juan Mozart's

Retired to his home in St. Cloud, Gounod sometimes gives concerts.

Gounod let the keyboards of the organ of St. Cloud to his pupil Henri Busser.

January 18 1893
Centenary of Roméo et Juliette at the Opera de Paris.

October 17, 1893
Death of Charles Gounod in Saint-Cloud.

October 27, 1893
State funeral in the church of the Madeleine, with Saint-Saënsat the great organ
and Fauréat the head of control. Burial in the cemetery of Auteuil.

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