Ernest Reyer as Berliozian
This chapter focuses on composer, Ernest Reyer. Reyer's Sigurd also became a fixture on French stages, albeit for only a quarter century or so. Reyer was already sixty-one when Sigurd premiered in Brussels in 1884. Upon arriving in Paris from Marseille and Alger in the late 1840s, he briefly studied composition with his aunt, the celebrated pianist Louise Farrenc. In large measure, however, he was self-taught. Through camaraderie with writer Joseph Méry, he was introduced to Théophile Gautier and a literary circle that today glows with the highest prestige.
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