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This composer composed various spiritual works, but did not admit to anyone that he dreamed of operetta. Then he nevertheless created 80 operettas, although he already dreamed of completing a symphony-oratorio. Over time, Florimon Herve was recognized as the father of the operetta, but the addictions of the eccentric creator always doubled, as, indeed, his whole life. A gifted singer, composer, actor and playwright was eccentric and unpredictable. Nobody knew about his double life, nor about the plots of his best operettas in a madhouse, becoming the most fun and mocking composer of the second half of the 19th century and creating a perky satirical genre.

On the way to church
Little is known about Florimon Herve’s childhood and youth. He was born in the small town of Uden in northern France on June 30, 1825, and received the name Florimon Ronge. The boy had a beautiful voice, so from an early age he sang in the church choir.

Once, a lanky youth roamed the streets and mourned his unfolding life. He experienced a terrible shock when a professional organist came to his church, and Florimon had nothing to play on. Continuing to sob, he found himself wandering in the suburbs of Paris. There he saw an old church and decided to enter it. operetta. Shot through the eyes. A temple employee suspiciously examined the guest, because he was so thin that he caused only pity. Clutching his hand to his chest, Florimon exclaimed that he was here by the will of the people and only bayonets could make him leave. The minister did not even understand that the young man quoted the famous French politician and speaker Honore de Mirabeau. Florimon took advantage of the man’s confusion and quickly headed to the organ. Hearing amazing musical improvisations, a priest hurriedly came out to meet Florimon. He was incredibly happy about the arrival of a talented young man and invited him to take an empty place as an organist. The guy’s joy knew no bounds, he only wondered which church he had wandered into. It turned out that this is the church of Bisetra – the most famous psychiatric hospital in the capital.

In 1842, the young Florimon began to delight the chorales with the hearing of the mentally ill who came to Mass every day. Very quickly, he realized that music makes them calmer, even the most violent began to calm down. Then Florimon came up with the idea of ​​treating hospital patients with music. The newly-minted organist created a church choir, whose patients became singers. Naturally, at first it was an unpleasant sight, but over time, patients became more inspired, and the choir acquired harmony and sonority. In order not to bother the mentally ill with large chants, Florimon specially composed small cantatas and said that these were musical pills.

Double life
After five years of work in the church at the psychiatric hospital, Florimon met comedian actor Jean Desiree. The funny and plump artist liked Florimon Ervemuzyka of the young organist, and he ordered him to create compositions for his benefit performance. One thought of the scene enthralled Florimon, he could not even dream of such a gift of fate. Desiree was able to attach the musician to small roles in a theater in Montmartre. True, no money has been paid for his work so far, so he still earned money by conducting a choir of patients. Every evening, the organist secretly left the church for the theater, and in the morning he also made his way quietly back. If his church authorities found out about such liberties, he would immediately expel him! At Florimon, such a double life made her head spin, and church chorales got confused with merry verses.

Reborn composer
Work on stage more and more captured Florimon. It was already not enough for him to supplement other people’s musical works, he wanted to compose himself. Therefore, the approaching benefit of Desiree was the best reason to show off talent. A thin and tall musician next to a small and full actor inspired an association with Don Quixote and Sancho Florimon HervePansa. That’s what Florimon called his first operetta. Upon learning that his name would be on the poster, he immediately came up with the pseudonym Herve so that the church would not have guessed about his double life. Now the choirs were composed by Florimon Ronzhe, and the operettas by Florimon Herve.

This play was such a stunning success with the public that the outstanding composer Adolf Adan, the author of the famous ballets Corsair and Giselle, invited Herve to work as the third conductor in his National Opera Theater. In the spring of 1848, Don Quixote Herve was staged on this prestigious stage, and his melodies began to be sung on the boulevards of Paris. Now Florimon could not do music with the mentally ill, because fame came to him, but Herve was not enough. Now he was captured by the dream of his own theater, in which only his works could be staged. Favorable fate and this time went to meet the composer. Florimon became interested in the famous philanthropist – Duke Charles de Morny. But Herve refused the advantageous offer to become his personal secretary and asked only to help in the creation of the theater.

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