Le petite mariée (The Little Bride) 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.
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.
Eugène Leterrier was a French librettist.
Albert Vanloo was a Belgian librettist and playwright.
The piece was well received and ran for more than 200 performances. It was subsequently staged in London, New York, Berlin and Vienna, but has not gained a permanent place in the operatic repertoire.
In the early 1870s Lecocq had come from relative obscurity to supplant Jacques Offenbach as Paris's favourite composer of comic opera.His La fille de Madame Angot , first seen in Brussels in 1872 and then in Paris the following year, had broken box-office records, and his opéra-bouffe Giroflé-Girofla (1874) had been a success in Brussels, Paris and internationally. Lecocq, who had been living in Brussels for some years, moved back to his native Paris, where most of his subsequent operas were premiered. One of his collaborators on La fille de Madame Angot, Victor Koning, had taken over the management of the Théâtre de la Renaissance, and assembled a company headed by a singer whom Kurt Gänzl calls "the reigning queen of Parisian opérette", Jeanne Granier. Lecocq was in need of another success, having failed with his two most recent shows, Les Prés Saint-Gervais (1874) and Le Ponpon (1875).
Jacques Offenbach was a German-French composer, cellist and impresario of the romantic period. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. He was a powerful influence on later composers of the operetta genre, particularly Johann Strauss, Jr. and Arthur Sullivan. His best-known works were continually revived during the 20th century, and many of his operettas continue to be staged in the 21st. The Tales of Hoffmann remains part of the standard opera repertory.
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.
The piece opened at the Théâtre de la Renaissance on 21 December 1875, the first production there under Koning's management. He had commissioned lavish costumes and scenery, and engaged a first-rate company.Granier, Fèlix Puget, Eugène Vauthier and Alphonsine were familiar to Parisian audiences from Lecocq's last success, Giroflé-Girofla just over a year earlier. The piece was an immediate hit, and ran for 212 performances.
Alphonsine was a French actress. She made her theatrical debut at the Gymnase-Enfantin, an entertainment venue formerly located near the Passage de l'Opéra in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.
Podestà is the name given to certain high officials in many Italian cities beginning in the later Middle Ages. Mainly it meant the chief magistrate of a city state, the counterpart to similar positions in other cities that went by other names, e.g. rettori ("rectors"), but it could also mean the local administrator, who was the representative of the Holy Roman Emperor. Currently, Podestà is the title of mayors in Italian-speaking municipalities of Graubünden in Switzerland. In Germany they call the tough man a Potestaat.
The setting is Italy in the 16th century.
Beppo and his wife are uneasy about the furtive behaviour of three of their guests, but the three are not political conspirators as Beppo and Béatrix imagine. They are the dashing young San Carlo, his bride-to-be, and her father. They are keeping as low a profile as possible to avoid the attentions of the local potentate, Rodolpho, Podestà of Bergamo. San Carlo was once Rodolpho's favourite, until he and the Podestà's wife were caught in flagrante. Rodolpho did not exact revenge at the time, but warned San Carlo that he would repay him in kind, and cuckold him on his wedding day. Since then he has kept San Carlo at his court, under constant surveillance. San Carlo has now excused himself from attendance under the pretext of illness, and is about to marry Graziella, the daughter of Casteldémoli, a rich landowner. As witness he has recruited his trusted friend Montefiasco. As the newlyweds are leaving the chapel the Podestà arrives, to enquire about San Carlo's health. To avoid the threatened revenge, San Carlo introduces Graziella as Montefiasco's wife, a ploy that threatens to backfire as the formidable Lucrézia, Montefiasco's real wife, has also turned up. Rodolpho is much taken with Graziella, and commands that she, her father and her supposed husband, Montefiasco, accompany him to his court. Lucrezia, furious, is left behind.
Casteldémoli has been made Rodolpho's Chamberlain, Montefiasco, captain of the pages and Graziella, reader to the Podestà. San Carlo is looking for a way out of this difficult situation. Lucrezia arrives in a rage, but Montefiasco calms her down, explaining more or less what is going on. She is sufficiently mollified to fall into his arms. Rodolpho, observing this, reasons that if Graziella's (supposed) husband can tangle with another woman, Rodolpho would not be acting unreasonably in seeking to seduce Graziella. He confides his plan to San Carlo, who can see no way of saving Graziella other than for the two of them to flee together. Their attempt to do is thwarted, and Rodolpho learns that San Carlo is married to Graziella and Montefiasco to Lucrezia.
Rodolpho has had San Carlo confined to his quarters. Alone with Graziella he has his threatened revenge in mind, but is won over by her sweetness and abandons his attempts to woo her. They agree that if she and her father give him a little property on their estate that he has long coveted, Rodolpho will release everyone and consider the matter closed, particularly as it emerges that his late wife had strayed with several others as well as San Carlo. He allows himself a small vengeance by allowing the agonised San Carlo to suppose briefly that his release has been bought at the price of Graziella's honour, but everything is eventually explained and all is well.
There was some criticism that both in plot and music the piece was reminiscent of Giroflé-Girofla, but numbers singled out for praise included the Podestà's rondo "Le jour où tu te marieras"; the "sword" couplets, "Ce n'est pas, camarade"; two successive numbers in Act II: "Donnez-moi votre main" and the "nightingale" song "Or donc en Romagne vivait"; and most particularly a duet for the hero and heroine, "Vraiment, j'en ris d'avance".
At the time of the first Paris revival (1877) Granier was unwell, and was replaced by Jane Hading.There were further revivals in Paris in 1880 (with Granier), 1887, 1908, 1909 and 1921. The work has rarely been staged since, although there was a brief revival at the Odeon Theatre, Marseille in 2002.
Jane Hading was a French actress. Her real name was Jeanne-Alfrédine Tréfouret.
The piece was presented (in French) in London in 1876, and again in 1888. An English adaptation by Harry Greenbank was staged there in 1897 under the title The Scarlet Feather, with additional numbers by Lionel Monckton. A French production was given in New York in 1877. German translations were presented in Berlin in 1877 and Vienna in 1879.
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.
Les p'tites Michu is an opérette in three acts, with music by André Messager and words by Albert Vanloo and Georges Duval. The piece is set in Paris in the years following the French Revolution and depicts the complications ensuing after the identities of two girls become confused in their infancy.
Les cloches de Corneville is an opéra-comique in three acts, composed by Robert Planquette to a libretto by Louis Clairville and Charles Gabet.
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.
Jeanne Granier was a French soprano, born and died in Paris, whose career was centred on the French capital.
Le petit duc is an opéra comique in three acts by Charles Lecocq. The French libretto was by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy.
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.
Les cent vierges is an opérette in three acts, with music by Charles Lecocq and a libretto by Clairville, Henri Chivot and Alfred Duru. It was first produced at the Théâtre des Fantaisies-Parisiennes, Brussels, on 16 March 1872. The plot concerns the British government's efforts to ship brides out to a distant colony for the all-male colonists. Two French women are accidentally on board the ship taking the brides out, and are pursued to the island by their husbands. The four French intruders are threatened by the colonial governor, but after plotting and farcical goings-on, all ends satisfactorily.
La coeur et la main is a three-act opéra comique with music by Charles Lecocq and words by Charles Nuitter and Alexandre Beaume. It was first performed on 19 October 1882 at the Théâtre de Nouveautés, Paris.
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.
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.
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 belle au bois dormant 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.
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.