French writer and librettist (b. 14 February 1835 in Valence; d. 16 October 1898 in Paris), born Louis Marie Alexandre Gallet.
Gallet began by writing in his spare time, while supporting himself as a teacher in Valence. He moved to Paris in 1857, where he took up a civil service post in the Department of Public Assistance, and published treatises on hospital administration. In 1871, he was asked to collaborate with the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns on an operatic libretto (La Princesse jaune), which was a modest success, and Saint-Saëns recommended him as music critic for the Nouvelle Revue. He went on to produce librettos for Édouard Blau, Georges Bizet and Jules Massenet, amongst others.
Tchaikovsky and Gallet
In 1888 Gallet, along with Léonce Détroyat, committed himself to write a libretto for Tchaikovsky for an opera in French initially entitled La Courtisane (the title was later changed to Sadia) which was to be performed in Paris. However, this project ultimately came to nothing.
Correspondence with Tchaikovsky
3 letters from Tchaikovsky to Louis Gallet have survived, dating from 1891 and 1892, all of which have been translated into English on this website:
- Letter 4288a – 6/18 January 1891, from Frolovskoye
- Letter 4311a – 19/31 January 1891, from Frolovskoye
- Letter 4739a – 23 July/4 August 1892, from Klin
7 letters from Louis Gallet to Tchaikovsky, dating from 1889 to 1892, are preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.
- Lacombe, H. Autour de Louis Gallet. Profil d'une carrière de librettiste. In: Alban Ramaut, A. & Branger, J.-C. (eds.). Le livret d'opéra au temps de Massenet' (Saint-Etienne, 2002), p. 61-88