Directors, ballet masters, stage directors, choreographers, architects, ... Octave discovers the personalities that have marked the history of the Opera which continues to attract the great names of music and dance.
The son of a Bolognese family living in Paris, Jean Coralli trained at the Paris Opera’s Ballet School and made his debut as a dancer and choreographer in Vienna in 1800. Between 1802 and 1815 he worked at the Paris Opera as a character dance and went on to create several ballets in Milan, Lisbon and Marseille before being appointed Ballet Master at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin in 1825. Whilst there, he worked with vaudeville and other fashionably popular pieces and followed the debuts of Joseph Mazilier and Jules Perrot. In 1828 he participated in one of the seminal events of romanticism: the staging of the first theatrical version of Goethe’s Faust, translated by the poet Gérard de Nerval and performed by the actor Frédéric Lemaître. In 1831, he was hired by Doctor Véron, the Paris Opera’s new director, who wished to introduce new choreographed performances to the stage of the royal theatre. A man of total theatre, with a desire to combine dance and mime in the same plot narrative, he arranged numerous opera divertissements and breathed new life into the ballet with romantic works in which he showcased Fanny Elssler (Le Diable boiteux, 1836) and Carlotta Grisi (La Péri, 1843). Coralli earned fame for his group choreographies in Giselle (1841). He left the opera shortly after the 1848 Revolution.