Opera Scotland

Henri Cain Suggest updates

Born Paris 1859.

Died Paris, 21 November 1937.

French artist, writer and librettist.

Henri Cain seems to have begun his career as a librettist with the comic opera La vivandière for  Godard in 1893, though it is his work for Massenet that is nowadays remembered. He came from an artistic family - his father was a sculptor and his brother Georges a well-known painter. After initial success as a painter himself, Henri concentrated on writing novels and plays, as well as libretti.

Composers for whom he provided texts include Widor (Les pêcheurs de Saint Jean, 1905); Giordano (Marcella, 1907 with Adenis); and Alfano (Cyrano de Bergerac, 1936).

His libretti for Massenet are La Navarraise (1894 with Claretie); Sapho (1897 with Bernède); Cendrillon (1899); Chérubin (1905 with de Croisset); Don Quichotte (1910) and Roma (1912).

Sources: mainly New Grove Dictionary of Opera.

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