Hervé (Florimond Ronger dit) (1825-1892)

Hervé wrote the libretti of his works as much out of necessity as in a spirit of independence. Among his approximately one-hundred works (the exact number varies according to the author), about a quarter have a libretto written by the composer himself, from Les gardes-françaises (1848), among his earliest attempts, to the resounding flop of Alice de Nevers in 1875, the year in which he seems to have abandoned the practice. During that period, he also had two of his greatest successes, L’Œil crevé (1867) and Chilpéric (1868). According to his collaborators, Hervé actively participated in the writing of his texts even when he was not officially cited as the librettist, notably for Le petit Faust (1869). Hervé literally puts himself on stage in two of his works written at the beginning and end of his career. First, in Le Compositeur toqué (“the crazy composer,” 1854), for which Hervé wrote the words and music as well as playing the title role; the title of this lively sketch became the Hervé’s official nickname, one which is still used today. Later, in Mam’zelle Nitouche, for which he did not write the libretto, but which is based on events in Hervé’s youth when he worked as the organist at Saint-Eustache during the day and sang in minor theaters in the evenings. In some of his wildest libretti, such as Le Hussard persécuté and L’Œil crevé, autobiography is less defined but remains undeniably present.

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lastnameHervé (Florimond Ronger dit)
birth year1825
death year1892
same ashttps://data.bnf.fr/13517695/herve/

Publications (4)