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Petite Mademoiselle La petite mademoiselle

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Charles Lecocq (born Paris, 3 June 1832; died Paris 24 October 1918)


Henri Meilhac & Ludovic Halévy.



First Performance: Paris (Théâtre de la Renaissance), 12 April 1879.

First Performance in UK: tbc.

First Performance in Scotland: tbc 1880.

Scottish Opera premiere: N/A.



By 1879 Lecocq was established in the top flight of popular French composers,and regularly collaborated with equally established librettists, such as Meilhac and Halévy.


Main Characters

Marquis of Manicamp, commander of the Royalist army.

Taboureau, an innkeeper

Jacqueline, his wife

Countess Cameroni, 'La Petite Mademoiselle'

Boisvillette, an Officer of the Fronde.

Marmiton, a pork butcher.

Madelon, his wife.


Plot Summary

The action of the opera takes place in 1652 during the 'Fronde' a revolt of the citizens of Paris against the tyranny of Cardinal Mazarin.

Royal troops encamped outside Paris have seized some citizens caught outside the city boundaries, including Taboureau, a Paris innkeeper. The wives arrive to reclaim their menfolk, except for Jacqueline Taboureau. Her husband is ribbed by the Royalist officers until she eventually arrives. The Marquis tells his officers that a young and wealthy widow, Countess Cameroni, will attempt to pass through their lines at night. She, or her fortune, is under the control of Mazarin, who plans a marriage for her that will suit his own ambitions. As he speaks, a woman arrives, calling herself Madame Douillet. The Marquis flirts with her, since that accords with the lady's reputation, and allows her to go on into Paris. But this is in fact the Countess in disguise.

In Paris itself, the Countess is now under the protection of Jacqueline, her foster-sister, and plays the role of an inn-servant, under the name Trompette. The Marquis comes in search of her. Himself disguised under the name Lambin, he is lodging in Marmiton's shop. Trompette and Lambin meet by chance, fail to recognize one another, and immediately fall in love. An attack is about to start, so the Marquis has to leave to rejoin his troops, thus betraying his identity to the Countess.

The city is under attack, with the Countess encouraging the citizens to erect barricades and fight on. The Marquis leads his troops on to victory. He then announces that Mazarin wishes to give a general pardon. This allows the Marquis to marry his Countess.

The Cast

 an Officer of the Fronde
D' Estilly
 Taboureau's better half
 Lieutenant in the Royal Army
La Petite Mademoiselle
 Countess Cameroni, disguised
 Marmiton's wife
 a Charcutier
Marquis of Manicamp
 of the Royal Army
Pont D' Aubray
 Landlord of the 'Pineapple' Inn

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