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Victor Herbert
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    (February 1, 1859-May 26, 1924)
    Born in Dublin, Ireland
    Cellist, conductor and composer
    Known for penning operettas and light musical comedy
    Conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony (1898-1904)
    Founded the Victor Herbert Orchestra (1904)
    Best known for the popular children's operetta 'Babes in Toyland' (1903)
    Other works included 'Cello Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 30' (1894), 'Auditorium Festival March' (1901) 'The Serenade' (1897), 'The Fortune Teller' (1898), 'Mlle. Modiste' (1905), 'The Red Mill' (1906), 'Naughty Marietta' (1910), 'Sweethearts' (1913), 'Natoma' (1911), 'Madeleine' (1914), and 'The Only Girl' (1914)
    Founding member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP; est. 1914)
    He was a Puccini lookalike.
    He has been compared to Gilbert and Sullivan.
    He composed only two 'grand operas' during his long career.
    Very few of his compositions outside of 'Babes' are revived today.
    Adaptations of 'Babes in Toyland' for the screen tend to A) use only one or two of his songs; B) deviate completely from the operetta's original plot; or C) play unrecognizable variations of the original songs.
    His shows' popularity faded after the advent of WWI (he adapted to the ragtime-foxtrot style of the day but never had the hits he enjoyed during his heyday again).
    His lightweight style of operatic comedy was spoofed in a popular episode of I Love Lucy - literally titled 'The Operetta' ('Lancelot? Dance Alot? Who wrote this thing anyway!?' 'Haven't you heard of Victor Herbert?')
    His father died when he was an infant.
    He produced numbers for the Ziegfeld Follies.
    He was proficient in the use of the cello, which he played in various orchestras early in his career.
    He was a colleague of Irving Berlin and John Philip Sousa.
    He championed composers' rights and was instrumental in getting the American Copyright Law of 1909 passed.
    He was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1908).
    He won a suit in a case brought befoe the Supreme Court which determined that composers had the right to receive fees for the performances of their works (1917).
    His final operetta, 'Eileen,' was based on a libretto dealing with the Irish rebellion of 1798.
    He composed arguably the first original orchestral scores for a full-length film ('The Fall of a Nation' in 1916).
    'Babes in Toyland' - in all its incarnations - remains a family favorite, and the triumphant 'March of the Wooden Soldiers' piece regularly turns up on Christmas music compilations.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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