L'égyptienne (Lecocq)

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Playbill L'egyptienne, operette militaire en 3 actes et 11 tableaux L'egyptienne (Lecocq).jpeg
Playbill L'égyptienne, opérette militaire en 3 actes et 11 tableaux

L'égyptienne is an 1890 operetta in 3 acts and 11 scenes by Charles Lecocq, to a libretto by Henri Chivot, Charles Nuitter and Alexandre Beaumont. The operetta was publicized as an "opérette militaire". [1] It premiered 8 November 1890 at the Folies-Dramatiques, Paris. The Revue d'art dramatique noted that the production took place at the reopened Eden Théâtre, now transformed into an opera house. [2] The reviewer of the Courrier de l'art commented that Lecocq was no longer producing operettas with the frequency of the past and was more selective in choice of material. [3] The piece was not a success and ran for 22 performances. [4]

Charles Lecocq French musical composer

Alexandre Charles Lecocq was a French composer, known for his opérettes and opéras comiques. He became the most prominent successor to Jacques Offenbach in this sphere, and enjoyed considerable success in the 1870s and early 1880s, before the changing musical fashions of the late 19th century made his style of composition less popular. His few serious works include the opera Plutus (1886), which was not a success, and the ballet Le cygne (1899). His only piece to survive in the regular modern operatic repertory is his 1872 opéra comique La fille de Madame Angot. Others of his more than forty stage works receive occasional revivals.

Henri Chivot was a French writer and playwright, mostly known as an operettas librettist.

Alexandre Beaume, called Alexandre Beaumont, was a French librettist, playwright and novelist.


Original cast

Juliette Nesville

Juliette Nesville was the stage name of Juliette-Hortense Lesne, a French singer and actress, who made most of her short career in London, after early success in Paris and Brussels.

Source: The Era . [5]


Captain Hector, a gallant French infantry officer, and Mdlle. Delphine, daughter of Madame de Montalban, go up in a captive balloon at Toulon in 1798; the cable breaks, the balloon is wafted among the clouds, where the two while away the time by singing duets; the balloon suddenly descends in the Mediterranean, the couple are rescued, and Delphine's mother has to consent to their immediate marriage. But she plays a trick on her new son-in-law: she is the widow of a general, and using her influence at army headquarters she has him appointed to General Kléber's staff and posted immediately to Egypt. Within an hour of the wedding he embarks, leaving his bride in tears.

Toulon Prefecture and commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Toulon is a city in southern France and a large military harbour on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department.

Jean-Baptiste Kléber French general

Jean-Baptiste Kléber was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars. His military career started in Habsburg service, but his plebeian ancestry hindered his opportunities. Eventually, he volunteered for the French Army in 1792 and quickly rose through the ranks.

After taking part in a French victory, and winning promotion to the rank of major, Hector is wounded during a revolt in Cairo. A rich and beautiful young admirer, Djemileh, sends her servants to rescue him and bring him under her roof. There they bill and coo in a dangerously intimate way during his recovery, while their attendants, Cassegrain and Myrza, do likewise, although the proprieties are – just – observed on all sides.

Aboul-Abbas and Kacem – Djemileh's cruel uncle and her ferocious fiancé – cut short the double tête-à-tête. Hector and Cassegrain are bound with ropes, but vengeance is forestalled by the sudden arrival of Delphine, accompanied by Cassegrain's formidable wife. When Delphine hears of her husband's supposed affair with the Egyptienne, she flies into a rage and threatens to leave him to his conquest, but when the innocence of his flirtation is proved she relents, and all winds up happily with the capture of Aboukir and the triumph of the invincible French, flourishing their Tricolore.

Tricolour (flag) flag with three bands of colour

A tricolour or tricolor is a type of flag or banner design with a triband design which originated in the 16th century as a symbol of republicanism, liberty or indeed revolution. The flags of France, Italy, Romania, Mexico, and Ireland were all first adopted with the formation of an independent republic in the period of the French Revolution to the Revolutions of 1848, with the exception of the Irish tricolour, which dates from 1848 but was not popularised until the Easter Rising in 1916 and adopted in 1919.

Source: The Era. [5]

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  1. Alfred Bates, James Penny Boyd Drama and Opera: The opera 1909 - Page 46 "Lecocq at last found himself established with the public, and produced in rapid succession L'Amour et son Carquois (1868), ... Plutus (1886); Les Grenadiers de Mont-Cornette and Ali-Baba (1887); La Volière (1888) and L'Egyptienne (1890)."
  2. Revue d'art dramatique 1890 – Volumes 19–20, p. 233 "Folies-Dramatiques: L'Egyptienne, opéra comique en trois actes et onze tableaux de MM. Chivot, Nuitter et Beaumont, musique de M. Ch. Lecocq. L'événement artistique de la quinzaine et, on peut le dire, le premier fait saillant de la saison musicale à été la réouverture de l'Eden Théâtre, transformé en théâtre lyrique. Cette transformation s'est produite dans des conditions favorables.
  3. Courrier de l'art Eugène Véron, Paul Leroi - 1890 - Volume 10 - Page 381 Art Musical: Folies-Dramatiques: L'Égyptienne. ... Bizet, vous le savez, n'a guère écrit que cinq ou six ouvrages; mais M. Lecocq, dont la veine est plus abondante et la vie plus longue, heureusement, en a déjà produit une cinquantaine ou peu s'en faut. A présent qu'il se repose un peu sur ses lauriers et compose seulement lorsqu'il sent l'inspiration venir, il prétend choisir ses poèmes et ne les accepte plus les yeux fermés ; il cherche et lit volontiers ce qu'on lui présente, ..."
  4. Noël and Stoullig, p. 377
  5. 1 2 "The Drama in Paris: L'egyptienne", The Era, 15 November 1890, p. 11


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