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RICHARD HEUBERGER  

(1850 - 1914)

Heuberger, composer, arranger, chorus master and music critic, remains well-known for just one of his five operettas, The Opera Ball (Der Opernball) composed in 1898 with its well-known overture and waltz duet Im chambre séparée. But he wrote a considerable amount of other music too. He was the first composer invited to set the story of The Merry Widow to music, but admitted a lack of inspiration and the task was finally entrusted to Franz Lehár. The overture to Ihre Excellenz proved once again that he was a great orchestrator, and it bears some similarity in style, though not in melody, to The Opera Ball. It was subsequently reworked as Eine entzückende Frau with a slightly modified overture. This operetta was produced in 1899. The only other operetta of any note that he wrote was Das Baby, in 1902.

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