La belle au bois dormant (The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods) is an opéra comique in three acts with music by Charles Lecocq and words by Albert Vanloo and Georges Duval. It is a retelling, with modifications, of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty . The princess wakes from her long sleep and falls in love not with Prince Charming but with his companion, but all is well in the end.
The opera opened at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris, in February 1900, and had a run of 28 performances.
By the 1890s Lecocq's most successful days were behind him.In the 1870s his successes had included Giroflé-Girofla and La fille de Madame Angot . He had written very popular operas in the early 1880s, but of his later comic pieces only Ninette (1896) ran for more than the 100 performances regarded as the criterion of success in Parisian theatres of the time. After that, the most successful of his younger rivals, André Messager, wrote two highly successful pieces for the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Les p'tites Michu (1897) and Véronique (1898), in collaboration with the librettists Albert Vanloo and Georges Duval. With the same librettists, Lecocq wrote his version of the Sleeping Beauty story for the same theatre. The cast included many popular performers including Jean Périer, Anne Tariol-Baugé, Maurice Lamy and Brunais. The new leading lady, Mlle. de Hally (sometimes billed as Dehelly, née Valentine Eugénie Stratsaert), a 23-year-old alumna of the Conservatoire de Paris, appeared in this production by arrangement with the Opéra-Comique, of which she was a regular company member.
The opera opened at the Bouffes-Parisiens on 19 February 1900, and ran for 28 performances before being withdrawn in favour of a revival of Véronique.
In a chamber in a palace on the edge of a forest a young princess has been sleeping for a hundred years. Because of a magical spell, she can only be claimed by a bold prince who ventures into the enchanted forest to rescue her. The action takes place on the day when, according to the spell, the beautiful princess Loyse is due to wake from her century of sleep.
Alcindor VI, lord of the country and Prince Charming's father, has decided that his son will go to the rescue of the princess; but Prince Charming, a gauche and timid young man, dares not venture out alone in the forest. Olivier the Falconer, who fears nothing, offers to accompany him. They have set out on the expedition, the success of which should give the prince a wife. But a struggle begins between the beneficent fairy Aurore and the Taupier, a wicked old wizard, who has sworn that the Sleeping Beauty will scorn her Prince Charming.
The Sleeping Beauty awakes, falls for the handsome falconer and looks with derision on her supposed fiancé, the prince. But, much though she would like to marry the one she loves, she must sleep again for a hundred years if she does not marry the prince before midnight. The beneficent fairy, who distrusted the old Taupier and foresaw the future, had had the real prince raised by a forester and his family, while the supposed Prince Charming was really only the son of the forester. The substitution is revealed in the last act, and the Sleeping Beauty marries her falconer who assumes his true identity.
In Les Annales du théâtre et de la musique , Edmond Stoullig reported on the librettists' treatment of the story, and doubted that their changes to the traditional version were wise. Of the music, he said merely that it was a great pity that Lecocq had failed to recapture the inspiration he had shown in La fille de Madame Angot and other earlier works.
Prince Charming is a fairy tale character who comes to the rescue of a damsel in distress and must engage in a quest to liberate her from an evil spell. This classification suits most heroes of a number of traditional folk tales, including "Snow White", "Sleeping Beauty", and "Cinderella", even if in the original story they were given another name, or no name at all.
La mascotte is a three-act opéra comique with music by Edmond Audran and words by Alfred Duru and Henri Chivot. The story concerns a farm girl who is a "mascotte": someone with the mystic power to bring good luck to all around her, so long as she remains a virgin.
L'île de Tulipatan is an opéra bouffe, in one act by Jacques Offenbach to an original French libretto by Henri Chivot and Alfred Duru.
La fille du tambour-major is an opéra comique in three acts, with music by Jacques Offenbach and words by Alfred Duru and Henri Chivot. It was one of the composer's last works, premiered less than a year before his death. It opened at the Théâtre des Folies-Dramatiques, Paris, on 13 December 1879, and, after a successful initial run, was frequently revived in Paris and internationally, but in recent times has not been among the Offenbach operas most frequently staged.
La fille de Madame Angot is an opéra comique in three acts by Charles Lecocq with words by Clairville, Paul Siraudin and Victor Koning. It was premiered in Brussels in December 1872 and soon became a success in Paris, London, New York and across continental Europe. Along with Robert Planquette's Les cloches de Corneville, La fille de Madame Angot was the most successful work of the French-language musical theatre in the last three decades of the 19th century, and outperformed other noted international hits such as H.M.S. Pinafore and Die Fledermaus.
Giroflé-Girofla is an opéra bouffe in three acts with music by Charles Lecocq. The French libretto was by Albert Vanloo and Eugène Leterrier. The story, set in 13th century Spain, concerns twin brides, one of whom is abducted by pirates. The other twin poses as both brides until the first is rescued. The composer chose an extravagantly far-fetched theme to contrast with his more realistic and romantic success La fille de Madame Angot premiered the previous year.
Surcouf is a French opéra comique in three acts and a prologue, music by Robert Planquette, libretto by Henri Chivot and Alfred Duru, premiered on 6 October 1887 at the Théâtre des Folies-Dramatiques in Paris. It ran for a modestly successful 96 performances.
Alfred Duru was a 19th-century French playwright and operetta librettist who collaborated on more than 40 librettos for the leading French composers of operetta: Hervé, Offenbach, Lecocq and Audran.
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". 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. 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. The piece was not a success and ran for 22 performances.
Le jour et la nuit is an opéra-bouffe with a libretto by Albert Vanloo and Eugène Leterrier and music by Charles Lecocq. It was first performed in Paris in 1881, ran for 193 performances and was subsequently staged at other theatres in Europe, North America and Australia. It has not remained in the regular international operatic repertoire.
Le petite mariée is a three-act opéra-bouffe, with music by Charles Lecocq and libretto by Eugène Leterrier and Albert Vanloo. It was first performed at the Théâtre de la Renaissance, Paris on 21 December 1875. The opera, set in 16th-century Italy, depicts the farcical complications after the hero is caught in flagrante with the local grandee's wife.
Ninette is an opéra comique in three acts, with music by Charles Lecocq and words by Charles Clairville Jr, Eugène Hubert, G. Lebeaut and Ch. de Trogoff. It was first performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris, on 28 February 1896.
Fleur-de-Thé (Teaflower) is a three-act opéra bouffe with music by Charles Lecocq and words by Alfred Duru and Henri Chivot. The story centres on a French bar-keeper, who is saved from a bigamous marriage to an aristocratic young local by the intervention of his real wife, with the aid of champagne and French sailors. It is set in China to appeal to the 1860s French fashion for Chinoiserie.
Plutus is a three-act opéra comique by Charles Lecocq, with a libretto by Albert Millaud and Gaston Jollivet. It was first presented at the Opéra-Comique, Paris, on 31 March 1886; it was not a success and was taken off after eight performances. This was the first and last opera Lecocq wrote for the Opéra-Comique.
La Marjolaine is an opéra bouffe in three acts, with music by Charles Lecocq and words by Eugène Leterrier and Albert Vanloo, the third collaboration by the three. It opened at the Théâtre de la Renaissance, Paris on 3 February 1877 and had a fairly successful run of 117 performances. The work was staged in continental Europe, Britain and the Americas over the next few years.
Kosiki is an opéra comique in three acts, with music by Charles Lecocq and words by William Busnach and Armand Liorat. It was first produced at the Théâtre de la Renaissance, Paris, on 18 October 1876, with a cast headed by Zulma Bouffar and Jean-François Berthelier. By the standards of Lecocq's biggest successes its initial run of 75 performances was a disappointment.
Ma mie Rosette is an opéra comique in four acts with music by Paul Lacôme and words by Jules Prével and Armand Liorat. It is set in 16th-century Navarre, ruled by the young and famously amorous Henri of Navarre. His acceptance of refreshment from Rosette, a young woman on a farm, provokes jealousy in her fiancé. The young couple are brought to Henri's court, where they are married and raised to the aristocracy. The King's attentions to Rosette provoke a furious response from her husband. All the events at court turn out to be a dream of the sleeping Rosette. She wakes on her father's farm in time to receive the King who brings her a generous dowry.
Gillette de Narbonne is an opéra comique in three acts, with music by Edmond Audran and words by Alfred Duru and Henri Chivot. It is based on a fabliau from The Decameron and depicts a rejected bride posing as another woman to deceive her husband into consummating their marriage.
Le grand mogol is an opéra bouffe with music by Edmond Audran. The opera depicts the love between an Indian prince and a young Parisienne, and the unsuccessful attempts of conspirators to thwart their romance.
La Camargo is a 3-act opéra comique with music by Charles Lecocq and words by Eugène Leterrier and Albert Vanloo. It is a highly fictionalised story of two historical 18th-century characters, the dancer La Camargo and the bandit Louis Mandrin.