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1825 - 1892

Composer, Organist, Tenor, Theatre director

Date of birth:
Date of death:

Hervé [pseudonym of Louis-Auguste-Florimond Ronger].

Hervé, composer, librettist, actor, singer, stage director and opera company manager, was the rival – and friend – of Jacques Offenbach. When his father died, the ten-year-old moved to Paris, where he became a choirboy at the church of Saint-Roch, then a pupil of Auber at the Conservatoire, and organist of Saint-Eustache in 1845. In 1847, in collaboration with the comic singer Joseph Kelm, he composed a sketch called Don Quichotte et Sancho Pança, regarded as the first ‘operetta’. After working as conductor at the Odéon and then the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, in 1854 he opened a café-concert on the boulevard du Temple which he called Les Folies-Concertantes, later Les Folies-Nouvelles. Here he presented two-handed operettas of his own composition and one of Offenbach’s earliest works, Oyayaye ou la Reine des îles (1855). In 1859 he sold this venue, which became the Théâtre Déjazet. A great traveller, he then appeared in the provinces as a singer before re-establishing himself in Paris, where he became musical director of the Délassements-Comiques. Les Chevaliers de la Table ronde, premiered at the Bouffes-Parisiens in 1866, was the first of Hervé’s full-length operettas. It was followed byL’Œil crevé (1867), Chilpéric (1868) and Le Petit Faust (1869), all of which enjoyed great success at the Théâtre des Folies-Dramatiques, which he managed. In 1878, he played Jupiter in a revival of Orphée aux enfers under the direction of Offenbach himself. Then began the cycle he composed for Anna Judic, star of the Théâtre des Variétés: La Femme à papa (1879), La Roussotte (1881), Lili (1882) and finally Mam’zelle Nitouche (1883), on libretti by Albert Millaud. In 1886 Hervé left Paris for London and composed a series of ballets for the Empire Theatre from 1887 to 1889. He returned to France in 1892, producing Bacchanale shortly before his death on 3 November that year.



Alice de Nevers



La Belle Poule



Les Chevaliers de la Table ronde

HERVÉ / Henri CHIVOT / Alfred DURU





See the 26 œuvres en lien


publication date : 03/10/23