(b Bièvres, 15 Jan. 1805; d Paris, 26 April 1877). French composer. She studied with Reicha and Fétis, and became an original composer whose operas show harmonic and orchestral daring and dramatic intensity. She suffered from discrimination for being female, from partial paralysis, and from the political unpopularity of her family. She published a few songs and composed instrumental music and cantatas. Her last two operas, though neither was successful, are substantial documents of French Romantic music. Fausto (Paris, Théâtre Italien, 1831), to an Italian libretto, was the first French opera on this theme; Esmeralda (Paris Opéra, 1836), to a problematic libretto by Victor Hugo himself, concentrates on elaborate concerted numbers at the expense of solo music.
From The Oxford Companion to Music in Oxford Reference.