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Giacomo Meyerbeer. Gli Ugonotti (1851) (W. S. Lyster’s copy)

Melbourne ’s musical life during the colonial era reached its most spectacular manifestation in the performances of William Saurin Lyster’s “Grand Opera Company” in the 1860s and 70s. The first and most performed of their truly grand productions was Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots, in what has been described as “ Melbourne’s cultural coming of age.” The work was performed in its Italian version (largely to suit the singers) and in the first season the orchestration was concocted from the piano score to fit the limited resources available. For later seasons Lyster was able to use this copy of the full score and make a closer approximation to the composer’s orchestration.

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First page of music, with signature of W. S. Lyster


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