Franz von Suppe (April 18, 1819 – May 21, 1895) was an Austrian composer of light operas from the Kingdom of Dalmatia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was also a conductor and influenced many composers of light music, including Gaetano Donizetti.
Born in Split, then part of Croatia and still under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was educated both in Italy and Vienna. After studying in Cremona and Padua he became involved with the local theatrical scene, working with Rossini and Verdi. He also made a living as a concert conductor and was an early advocate for light music.
He embraced the genre of the light opera and, in the 1850s, he founded what is now called Viennese operetta. While he was not able to equal Johann Strauss in popularity, his works were enduring and his influence continues to this day.
His work included four dozen operettas and he is considered one of the most important light opera composers. He also wrote a number of musical comedies and ballets, most of which have been lost.
In 1860 he composed Das Pensionat, the first Viennese operetta and a huge success. His next piece, Fatinitza, was also a hit.
During his career, Suppe was often associated with the theatre in Vienna and conducted numerous productions. He also composed a significant amount of chamber music.
As a young man, Suppe was a student of the renowned music theorist Simon Sechter. He also studied with Ignaz von Seyfried, a pupil of Mozart.
His first overture, the famous Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna, is a rather Rossini-like example. At times he reminds of Weber as well.
He also produced some other interesting overtures, among them the short Up Hill and Down Dale and the happy little Juanita-March, both of which are typical of Suppe’s style.
In addition to his work as an opera composer, he was also a prolific and innovative music publisher. He published about twenty volumes of music, mainly in the areas of light music and operettas.
From the mid-1840s onwards he began to work as a teacher in Vienna, where he was known for his musical intelligence and versatility. He worked with a number of symphony orchestras and had a wide range of successful concert performances, as well as being an important figure in the musical life of his time.
He was a very popular composer, especially of light music. He was also a very successful conductor, working with many orchestras and promoting his own compositions.
His work on structural geology and tectonics has led to his being awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation research prize, and he has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1995. In September he joined the University of Houston as a Distinguished Professor in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
In his recent work, he has been developing a technique called seismic tomography, which allows scientists to image remnants of tectonic plates deep inside the Earth’s interior. This method can reveal details of the past, such as the formation of long-lost oceans, and is similar to a CT scan. Sommersuppe