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Libretto by Rosenval (F,E,I)

Scoring

Major roles: 3S,A,T,2Bar,B; minor roles: 2S,A,5Bar,2B; chorus
2.picc.2.corA.2.2-4.2.3.1-timp.perc:cyms-harp-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
08/06/1983
Opera Theater of St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
Conductor: Eric Fenby
Company: Opera Theater of Saint Louis

Roles

SARGEANT THIBAULT Tenor
THE ARTIST Baritone
MARGOT Soprano
LILI BEGUIN Soprano
NINI Soprano
LA PATRONNE Contralto
LAPOIGNE Baritone
TOTOR Bass
1ST SOLDIER Baritone
2ND SOLDIER Baritone
3 drunkards Basses
3 women 2 Sopranos/Contraltos
A Waiter Baritone
Police Brigadier Bass
Time and Place

Paris, France

Synopsis



At a bar in Paris one spring evening the clientele is made up of local drinkers and a handful of tarts. The conversation centres on Margot la Rouge, whose relationship with the Artist attracts envious comment from her colleague Lili. It starts to rain heavily – there will be few customers tonight. Margot nevertheless braves the storm, and is greeted with some bitchy comments. Three soldiers come in, the first two of whom show little interest in the girls, but the third – Thibault – stares at Margot. He thinks he has met her before. The others leave, but Thibault stays and approaches her. In the course of their conversation it becomes clear that she is from the same village as Thibault, who once knew her as Marguerite. She is moved by his recollections and also recognises him, then explains to him what she has become and that she has a lover. Thibault asks whether she loves him: she does not. Thibault’s obvious sincerity moves Margot to respond in kind. As they are about to leave together, the Artist appears. There is a row, and the Artist makes as if to strike Margot. Thibault defends her, and receives the knife blow instead. Margot grabs Thibault’s bayonet and stabs the Artist. The police arrest her.

Moods

Dramatic, Romantic, Tragic

Subjects

History, Relationships

Recommended Recording

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Meredith Davies (excerpts)
Eminence EMX2198

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