Libretto by V Bragin and Dmitry Kabalevsky after the novel by Romain Rolland (R)
2S,M,5T,2Bar,B,2children's voices,child actress; chorus
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes
/ Sikorski for the UK, British Commonwealth (excluding Canada), Republic of Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Israel.
|JEAN GIFFLARD, a miller
|CURÉ CHAMAILLE, priest of Brèves
|ROBINET, friend of Colas Breugnon
|DUKE OF ASNOIS
|MADEMOISELLE DE TERMES
|GLODIE, Breugnon's grandchild
|TWO VOICES BEHIND THE STAGE
||2 Children's voices (high, low)
|Citizens of Clamecy, guests of the Duke, soldiers
Time and Place
16th/17th century, Burgundy, France
The sculptor Colas Breugnon recalls his experiences at the end of his life. When he was young he fell in love with Selina, who was also admired by the miller Gifflard. While Colas was summoned to visit the Duke of Asnois in his castle, Gifflard spoke ill of Colas to Selina. She therefore married Gifflard out of jealousy. The desperate Colas then married Jacqueline who had long felt a hitherto unrequited love for Colas - but he could not forget Selina.
The plague has broken out in Clamecy, brought in by the soldiers of the Duke, and.Colas and his wife Jacqueline have contracted the illness. Colas survives but Jacqueline weakens, confessing to him before she dies that she had always known about his love for Selina. Gifflard and the ducal troops pillage and burn Clamecy. When Colas attempts to file a case against Gifflard with the Duke, Gifflard blames Colas for inciting the citizens against the Duke. Enraged, the Duke orders the destruction of all the statues made by the master sculptor. Colas is appalled but promises the Duke nevertheless to redeem his sins by producing a sculpture of the Duke in full armour. On revealing the finished sculpture in front of the castle the citizens of Clamecy see the Duke in majestic pose sitting backwards on a donkey. Their laughter drives the Duke back into the castle.