Offenbach - Keck
Apothicaire et perruquier (OEK critical edition) (1861)
Libretto by Élie Frébault; original German version by G. Ernst (F,G)
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
Salle Choiseul, Paris
|BOUDINET||Baritone (original version: Tenor)|
|SEMPRONIA, his daughter||Soprano|
Time and Place
at the time of Louis XV.; a modest room
Only two people are missing for the wedding of Boudinet’s daughter Sempronia: the bride’s hairdresser and – the bridegroom. He is the son of Boudinet’s friend, the pharmacist Plumoiseau, who lives far away. Sempronia has never seen her future husband before: Boudinet is convinced that a love match brings nothing but misfortune, so he has ordered that the couple shall see each other for the first time before the altar. When the hairdresser, Chilperic eventually arrives, Boudinet mistakes him for the bridegroom and serves him a generous dinner but refuses to let him see the bride. Shortly after, young Plumoiseau arrives. When he is asked to do the bride’s hair, he protests at first and then behaves so awkwardly that he breaks the bride’s comb. Once the confusion has reached its climax, Sempronia, who was not happy with her father’s arrangement in the first place, rises to speak: she recognises Chilperic to be the young man she fell in love with whilst staying in the countryside. She asks her father for his consent to marry him. Boudinet furiously refuses on the grounds that he has made a promise to Plumoiseau senior. At this moment, Chilperic reveals that his family name is Plumoiseau, too – he is no other than the cousin of the pharmacist’s son. The family is happily reunited and Sempronia is allowed to marry Chilperic.