Jules Verne (F)
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Opéra Théâtre, Metz
Jean-François Vinciguerra, director
Conductor: Dominique Trottein
Company: Choeurs de l’Opéra de Metz / Orchestre national de Lorraine
Isidore dresses up as a monkey in order to be allowed to enter the house of his lover, Etamine, the daughter of a renowned zoologist. However, Isidore does not only have to win over her strict father but also get the better of a rival who is also bidding for the hand of the pretty young lady: Baptist, a former Spanish nobleman who has come down in the world to the state of a servant. He wants to get Isidore out of the way. One therefore inevitably has to make a fool of oneself to gain a respectable place in the bourgeois society...
Before he came to be known as a successful novelist, Jules Verne, in an attempt to gain success in the world of theatre, wrote four opera libretti which were set to music by his fellow countryman Aristide Hignard. One of them, Monsieur de Chimpanzé, was premiered on 17 February 1858 at the Bouffes Parisiens, the theatre founded by Jacques Offenbach. Since then the scores have been lost, but Jean-Christophe Keck, the editor of the OEK, has composed a new score for the libretto.