Ernest Reyer

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Reyer, Ernest [ Rey, Louis Étienne] (b Marseilles, 1823; d Le Lavandou, 1909). Fr. composer and critic. Went to Paris 1848. His early operas were praised by Berlioz and his 2-act Érostrate was perf. at Baden-Baden at same time as Béatrice et Bénédict (1862). Planned opera on Nibelungen legends, but postponed project because of work as critic. Championed Berlioz, Wagner, Bizet, Franck, etc. Eventually the Nibelung opera appeared, Sigurd (Brussels and CG 1884, Paris 1885). This was followed by Salammbô, based on Flaubert's novel (Brussels 1890, Paris 1892, NY Met 1901). Also wrote choral works and songs.

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