Victor Roger

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Victor Roger 1853-1903.jpg

Victor Roger (22 July 1853 – 2 December 1903) was a French composer. He is best known for his operettas, particularly the lighter kind known as the "vaudeville-opérette". His thirty theatre works, composed between 1880 and 1902, also include pantomimes and ballets. His best-known piece, Les vingt-huit jours de Clairette, has remained in the repertory of French companies.


Roger was born in Montpellier, in the south of France, the son of a musician.[1] After studying at the École Niedermeyer he began his career composing songs and operettas for the Eldorado music hall. In 1886, he had a success with Joséphine vendue par ses soeurs, a parody of Méhul's biblical opera, Joseph et ses frères. He followed this with Les vingt-huit jours de Clairette (1892), an operetta on a military theme, in the tradition of the earlier operetta composer Hervé. It ran initially for 236 performances and was revived in 1900, 1901, 1903, 1908, 1914, 1920, 1921 and 1925,[2] and was filmed in 1933.[3]

Les vingt-huit jours de Clairette was by far Roger's greatest success, and so it has tended to eclipse his other works, some of which enjoyed considerable popularity initially.[2] L'auberge du Tohu-Bohu, which followed in 1897, was another example of "vaudeville-opérette", in which the spoken comedy took a more equal part with the music than in traditional operetta.[1] Besides his songs and operettas, Roger's compositions included some ballet and pantomimes, the former being Le vague (1883), La Camargo (1901), and Cendrillon (1902), and the latter were Balazi-Boumboum (1888) and Chez le conturier (1895). He collaborated with the composers Gaston Serpette (Cendrillonnette (1890) and La Dot de Brigitte (1895)) and Paul Lacome (Mademoiselle Asmodée (1891)).[1] The critic Andrew Lamb wrote of Roger, "His music is admirably crafted, demonstrating melodic grace, charm and a flair for rhythmic effect that are well suited to the lighthearted stage works to which he contributed."[1]

Roger was a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, a critic for the publication La France, and editor of the theatrical news in the Petit journal. He also acted as secretary of the Paris Opéra balls.[1]

Roger died in Paris at the age of 50.


  1. ^ a b c d e Lamb, Andrew. "Roger, Victor". Grove Music Online, Oxford University Press, accessed 22 June 2010 (requires subscription)
  2. ^ a b Pourvoyeur, Robert. "Victor Roger", Théâtre musical – Opérette, (French text), accessed 22 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Clairette's 28 Days". International Movie Database, accessed 22 June 2010

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