Nicolas Isouard

Nicolas Isouard
Nicolas Isouard.

Nicolas Isouard (or Nicolò Isouard) (b. December 6, 1775, Zebbug, Malta – d. March 23, 1818, Paris) was a Maltese composer.

Isouard studied in Valletta with Francesco Azopardi, in Palermo with Giuseppe Amendola, and in Naples with Nicola Sala and Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi. From 1795 he was organist at St. John de Gerusalemme in Valletta and conductor at the church of the Order of Saint John, San Giovanni di Malta.

He moved to Paris, where he worked as a free composer and befriended composer Rodolphe Kreutzer. The pair worked together on several operas, including Le petit page ou La prison d'état (1800) and Flaminius à Corinthe (1801). Isouard adopted the pseudonym Nicolò (or Nicolò de Malte) and found rapid success in the field of opera comique with Michel-Ange (1802) and L'intrigue aux fenêtres (1805). He composed regularly for the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique, writing some thirty works for them.

He composed masses, motets, cantatas, romances, and duos, along with over 40 operas.

Isouard had two daughters, Sophie-Nicole (1809–?), a composer of romances, and Annette-Julie (1814–1876), and pianist and composer. His brother Joseph (1794–1863) had a career as a singer and opera director before being named inspector of historic monuments in Rouen. Nicolas Isouard was buried in Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. A bust of the composer was placed on one of the facades of both the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique and the Palais Garnier, and one of the main squares in Paris was given his name.


  • L'avviso a Maritati, Opera, 1794
  • Artaserse, re di Persia, Opera seria, 1794
  • Il barbiere di Siviglia, Opera buffa after Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, 1796
  • Rinaldo d'Asti, Dramma giocoso, 1796
  • L'improvvisata in campagna, Opera buffa, 1797
  • I due avari, Commedia per musica, 1797
  • Il bottaio, Opera comique, 1798
  • Il barone d'Alba chiara, Commedia per musica, 1798
  • Ginevra di Scozia, Dramma serio eroico, 1798
  • Le petit page ou La prison d'état, Opera, 1800
  • Flaminius à Corinthe, Opera, 1801
  • La statue ou La femme avare, Opera comique, 1802
  • Michel-Ange, Opera, 1802
  • Les confidences, Opera, 1803
  • Le baiser et la quittance ou Une aventure de garnison, Opera comique, 1803
  • Le médecin turc, Opéra bouffon, 1803
  • L'intrigue aux fenêtres, Opera, 1805
  • La ruse inutile ou Les rivaux par convention, Opera, 1805
  • Léonce ou Le fils adoptif, Opera, 1805
  • La prise de Passaw, Opera comique, 1806
  • Le déjeuner de garçons, Comédie mêlée de musique, 1806
  • Idala ou La sultane, Opera comique, 1806
  • Les rendez-vous bourgeois, Opéra bouffon, 1807
  • Les créanciers ou Le remède à la goutte, Opera comique, 1807
  • Un jour à Paris ou La leçon singulière, Opera comique, 1808
  • Cimarosa, Opera comique, 1808
  • Zélomir ou L'intrigue au sérail, Opera comique, 1809
  • Cendrillon, Opéra féerie after Charles Perrault, 1810
  • La victime des arts ou La fête de famille, Opera comique, 1811
  • La fête de village ou L'heureux militaire, Opera comique, 1811
  • Le billet de loterie, Opera comique, 1811
  • Le magicien sans magie, Opera comique, 1811
  • Lulli et Quinault ou Le déjeuner impossible, Opera comique, 1812
  • Le prince de Catane, Opera, 1813
  • Le français à Venise, Opera comique, 1813
  • Bayard à Mézières ou Le siège de Mézières, Opera comique, 1814
  • Joconde ou Les coureurs d'aventures, Opera comique, 1814
  • Jeannot et Colin, Opera comique, 1814
  • Les deux maris, Opera comique, 1816
  • L'une pour l'autre ou L'enlèvement, Opera comique, 1816
  • Aladin ou La lampe merveilleuse, Opéra féerie, 1822
  • Une nuit de Gustave Wasa, Opera, 1825

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