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Joseph Carl Breil

Hollywood drama in the opera house

Born June 29, 1870, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died January 23, 1926, Los Angeles, California
About Joseph Carl Breil

Today Breil is remembered, if he is remembered at all, as a composer of film music. Breil was the first to compose a score specifically for a motion picture, Queen Elizabeth of 1912. He also brought a strong flavor of Hollywood dramatics to his operas, a characteristic not always welcome in the opera houses of his day.

  • Orlando of Milan (c. 1888, amateur performance) [juvenelia]
  • The Legend, opera in one act
    Libretto by Jaques Byrne.
    March 12, 1919, Metropolitan Opera, New York
  • Der Asra, opera in one act
    Libretto by the composer after the poem by Heinrich Heine.
    November 24, 1925, Gamut Club Theater, Los Angeles, California

Other Selected Works
  • Love Laughs at Locksmiths, operetta (1910)
  • Prof. Tattle, operetta (1913)
  • The Seventh Chord, operetta (1913)

Discography Search for recordings of the music of Joseph Carl Breil at Amazon.com

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Last update: January 1, 2009