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Michael Balfe (1808 – 1870) was an Irish composer, best-remembered for his opera The Bohemian Girl. After a short career as a violinist, Balfe pursued an operatic singing career, while he began to compose. In a career spanning more than 40 years, he composed 38 operas, almost 250 songs and other works. He was also a noted conductor, directing Italian Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre for seven years, among other conducting posts.