Morales, Melesio, Mexican composer; b. Mexico City, Dec. 4, 1838; d. San Petro de los Pinos, May 12, 1908. He began to compose salon music for piano and soon acquired sufficient technique to write for the stage. He produced 2 operas, Romeo y Julieta (Mexico City, Jan. 27,1863) and Ildegonda (Mexico City, Dec. 27,1865), then went to France and Italy for additional study. Returning to Mexico, he taught and composed. His orch. fantasy, La locomotiva, was performed at the opening of the Mexico-Puebla railway (Nov. 16, 1869), anticipating Honegger’s Pacific 231 by more than 50 years. He later produced 2 more operas: Gino Corsini (Mexico City, July 14, 1877) and Cleopatra (Mexico City, Nov. 14, 1891). Despite his passionate advocacy of national music, he followed conventional Italian models in his own works.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire