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English Deutsch

Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy; original German version by Karl Treumann; new German version by Stefan Troßbach; new English version by Richard Duployen (F,G,E)

Scoring

6S,2M,7T,B; speaking roles; chorus;
2(II=picc).1.2.1-2.2.1.0-timp.perc-strings;
Viennese orchestration: 2.2.2.2-4.2.3.0-timp.perc-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
31/10/1866
Palais-Royal, Paris
Company: unknown

World premiere of version
31/03/2001
Vasan Theatre, Stockholm
Edmund Gleede / Hakan Bjerking, director
Conductor: Peter Schmelzer
Company: Royal Swedish Opera

Roles

BARON GONDREMARCK Baritone
BARONESS CHRISTINE Soprano
RAOUL OF GARDEFEU Tenor
BOBINET CHICARD Tenor or high Baritone
MÉTELLA Mezzo-Soprano
POMPA DI MATADORES Tenor
GABRIELLE Light Soprano
FRICK Tenor
PROSPER Tenor
URBAIN Baritone
JOSEPH speaking role
ALPHONSE speaking role
GONTRAN Tenor or High Baritone
PAULINE Light Soprano
LÉONIE Soprano
LOUISE Soprano
CLARA Soprano
Additional roles in 1866 and 1873 versions
Travellers, porters, craftsmen, guests, waiters
Time and Place

Paris in the year 1867

Synopsis

The two rakes Gardefeu and Bobinet, who used to be friends, are no longer on speaking terms since they know that they are in love with the same woman, the coquettish Metella. When both accidentally want to meet her at the train station at the same time, she has her arm around another man. The two cuckolds are reconciled. In the future, they want to avoid the expensive demi-monde and look for affairs in the upper circles of society. At that moment, a wonderful opportunity alights from the train, accompanied by an elderly gentleman. She is the Baroness Gondremarck and her husband from Sweden, who are wanting to enjoy life in Paris for a couple of days, and are looking forward to the many attractions the city offers during the great world exhibition. As these naive provincials see that fair of grand illusions for the first time, they are welcome victims for the plan Gardefeu quickly designs. He bribes his old servant Joseph, who meets the lady and gentleman from the station as a guide from the Grand Hotel. He then takes over Joseph's role and directs the unsuspecting couple to his elegant bachelor apartment which he cheekily declares to be an annexe of the luxury hotel. Gardefeu even manages to make the two sleep in separate rooms and, with Bobinet's help, to produce invitations for noble circles of society for the adventurous baron. Thus he is free to seduce the baroness. But, sophisticated as Gardefeu's intrigue may be, all the gentlemen hungry for life and love eventually get ensnared within it and almost break their necks.

Moods

Comic, Poetic

Subjects

Relationships, Society

Recommended Recording

Fouchécourt / Bou / Garcia / Naouri / Callahan / Wesseling
Sebastien Rouland, cond. / directed by Laurent Pelly (Opéra de Lyon, 2007)
EMI/Virgin DVD 6525112

Vie parisienne (OEK critical edition)


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