Eloi Sylva was born on November 29th 1843 in Gramont, Belgium. From 1852 to 1858, Sylva went to school at the Saint-Joseph school. Sylva left school at 15 years and joined his father's workshop. Apparently Sylva was singing, while working there, when the Count de Launoy, an art patron, overheard him and offered to pay for Sylva's vocal training. Sylva left his village for Brussels. There, he studied with Cornélis and graduated in 1866. After the death of his father, Sylva decided to leave Gramont forever. Count de Launoy advised him to complete his schooling with Gilbert Duprez in Paris. After polishing his art with Duprez, Sylva made allegedly his debut in Nantes in 1868, then went to Lyon in 1968 and finally to Lille in 1871. Sylva made his Paris debut, Salle Le Peletier, on May 15th 1872 in Robert le diable. While in Paris, Sylva created L'esclave. This opera in 5 acts was composed by Membrée. It was created at Salle Ventadour, Paris, on July 15th 1874 with: Sylva, Lassalle, Gailhard, Bataille, and Mauduit.
Sylva's minimum chronology Sylva at La Monnaie 4 September 1879 L'africaine 14 September 1879 Robert le diable 2 October 1879 Le trouvère 13 October 1879 Jérusalem 13 November 1879 Le prophète 30 December 1879 Lohengrin 15 March 1880 Der Freischütz August 1880 La muette de Portici September 1880 Le prophète October 1880 Aida 21 December 1980 La Juive 28 December 1880 La Juive 9 March 1881 Les vêpres siciliennes Sylva at the Metropolitan Opera House 27 November 1885 Le prophète 9 December 1885 Le prophète 11 December 1885 Tannhäuser 6 January 1886 Tannhäuser 23 January 1886 Le prophète 5 February 1886 Rienzi 8 February 1886 Rienzi 10 February 1886 Rienzi 12 February 1886 Tannhäuser 17 February 1886 Rienzi 20 February 1886 Rienzi 27 February 1886 Rienzi 1 March 1886 Rienzi 3 March 1886 Tannhäuser MET Tour, 1885-1886 Philadelphia(21/26/31 December, Tannhäuser; 22 December, 30 December, Le prophète); Chicago (15/17/20 March, Rienzi; 23/25/27 March, Tannhäuser); St. Louis (30 March. Tannhäuser; 1/3 April, Rienzi); Cincinnati (6 April, Rienzi); Cleveland (8 April, Rienzi; 10 April, Tannhäuser) Sylva at the Théâtre Royal in Anvers Season 1873/4 Sylva at the Théâtre Royal in Gand 31 March 1876 Le trouvère Sylva at Covent Garden 17 April 1879 Robert le diable 28 April 1879 Il trovatore 3 May 1879 Tannhäuser 16 June 1879 Norma 5 July 1879 Le prophète 1 June 1882 Lohengrin 6 June 1882 L'africaine 20 June 1882 Le prophète Sylva in Lille 30 April 1872 Robert le diable 3 March 1872 Concert 14 October 1873 Le trouvère 4 October 1874 Robert le diable 6 October 1874 Le trouvère 9 October 1874 La Juive 24 April 1875 Le trouvère 26 April 1875 Robert le diable 10 July 1875 Concert Sylva in St. Petersburg 1877 Il trovatore 9 January 1878 Robert le diable 26 January 1878 Le prophète 23 February 1878 La Juive October or November 1878 Robert le diable 4 November 1878 Le prophète December 1878 Le prophète 8 January 1879 Tannhäuser 21 January 1879 La Juive October 1882 Robert le diable October 1882 L' africaine 19 November 1882 Jérusalem 26 December 1882 Le roi de Lahore 8 January 1883 Les huguenots February 1883 Le prophète 4 October 1883 L'africaine 25 October 1883 Robert le diable 22 November 1883 La Juive Beginning 1884 Nerone 7 October 1884 Robert le diable 28 October 1884 L'africaine 3 November 1884 Robert le diable November or December 1884 Le prophète Il trovatore 22 December 1884 Nerone February 1885 Poliuto Sylva in Moscow Bolshoi 21 October 1877 Robert le diable 23 December 1877 L'africaine 30 December 1877 Le prophète May 1884 Il trovatore May 1884 Les huguenots ? Private Theater Late 1887 La muette de Portici 1 December 1887 Il trovatore 23 January 1888 Norma 23 February 1887 Lohengrin Sylva in Berlin, Unter den Linden 1 February 1890 Otello 5 December 1890 Tannhäuser 5 September 1891 Robert le diable 21 October 1891 Cavalleria rusticana 15 November 1891 Titus 5 December 1891 Idomeus 19 March 1892 Der Freund Fritz 15 January 1892 Genesius 5 December 1892 Der Bajazzo 13 January 1893 Die Hexe 11 October 1893 Mara 17 February 1894 I Medici 4 October 1894 Der Prophet 23 March 1895 Rienzi 4 May 1895 Der Evangelimann 23 October 1895 Fidelio 26 November 1895 Ivanhoe 21 May 1896 Ingo 15 May 1897 Aida 31 March 1898 Odysseus Heimkehr 18 June 1898 Die Stumme von Portici Premieres in Berlin 4.10.1894 Meyerbeer. Der Prophet/Josef Sucher-Eloi Sylva (Johann von Leyden)-Marie Goetze (Fides)- Ida Hiedler (Bertha)-Julius Lieban (Jonas)-Rudolf Krasa (Mathisen)-Josef Mödlinger (Zacharias)- Franz Krolop (Graf Oberthal) 23.3.1895 Wagner: Rienzi/Karl Muck-Eloi Sylva (title role)-Ida Hiedler (Irene)-Emil Stammer (Colonna)- Marie Goetze (Adriano)-Ludwig Fränkel (Orsini)-Josef Mödlinger (Raimondo)-Kurt Sommer (Baroncelli)- Rudolf Krasa (Cecco del Vecchio)-Emilie Herzog, Marie Dietrich, Adrienne Weitz, Bertha Anita Krainz, Marie Deppe, Therese Rothauser u.(Friedensboten)-Robert Philipp (Herold) 4.5.1895 Kienzl: Der Evangelimann (world premiere)/Karl Muck-Josef Mödlinger (Friedrich Engel)-Bertha Pierson (Martha)- Marie Goetze (Magdalena)-Paul Bulß (Johannes Freudhofer)-Eloi Sylva (title role)-Julius Lieban (Xaver Zitterbart)- Franz Krolop (Anton Schnappauf)-Emil Stammer (Friedrich Aibler)-Martha Kopka (Dessen Frau)-Martha Hönsch (Frau Huber)- Robert Philipp (Hans)-Rudolf Krasa (Nachtwächter)-Helena Verena (Eine Lumpensammlerin)-Walter Beck (Ein Knabe) 23.10.1895 Beethoven: Fidelio/Felix v. Weingartner-Franz Betz (Don Fernando)-Josef Mödlinger (Don Pizarro)- Eloi Sylva (Florestan)-Ida Hiedler (Leonore)-Emil Stammer (Rocco)-Marie Dietrich (Marzelline)-Robert Philipp (Jaquino)- Kurt Sommer, Rudolf Krasa (Gefangene) 26.11.1895 Sullivan: Ivanhoe (premiere)/Karl Muck-Emil Stammer (Richard Löwenherz)-Ludwig Fränkel (Prinz Johann)- Eloi Sylva (title role)-Theodor Schmidt (Cedric)-Adrnne Weitz (Lady Rowena)-Josef Mödlinger (de Beaumanoir)- Paul Bulß (du Bois Gilbert)-Robert Philipp (de Bracy)-Franz Krolop (Bruder Tuck)-Kurt Sommer (Locksley)- Rudolf Krasa (York)-Ida Hiedler (Rebecca)-Marie Goetze (Ulrica) 15.5.1897 Verdi: Aida/Josef Sucher-Franz Krolop (König)-Marie Goetze (Amneris)-Ida Hiedler (title role)- Eloi Sylva (Radames)-Josef Mödlinger (Ramphis)-Baptist Hoffmann (Amonasro)-Marian Alma (Bote)- Henny Pohl (Priesterin) 31.3.1898 August Bungert: Odysseus' Heimkehr (premiere)/Franz Schalk-Josefine Reinl (Athene)-Baptist Hoffmann (title role)- Marie Goetze (Penelopeia)-Therese Rothauser (Telemachos)-Emil Stammer (Laertes)-Josef Mödlinger (Eumäos)- Henny Pohl (Eurykleia)-Rudolf Krasa (Mentor)-Robert Philipp (Hyperion)-Eloi Sylva (Antinoos)-Hermann Bachmann (Eurymachos) u.a. 18.6.1898 Auber: Die Stumme von Portici (at the Kroll opera theater)/Josef Sucher-Franz Naval (Alfonso)-Emilie Herzog (Elvira)-Marian Alma (Lorenzo)-Eloi Sylva (Masaniello)-Baptist Hoffmann (Pietro)-Rudolf Krasa (Borello)-Rudolf Berger (Selva) u. Ballettmitglieder Quelle: Apollini et Musis-250 Jahre Opernhaus Unter den Linden, Propyläen Verlag, Berlin 1992 (Hrsg: Georg Quander)
I wish to thank Pierre Duré, Alfred de Cock, Tom Kaufman and Guido Bathe for their help.