2 Bouffes en 1 acte
It might be hard to believe that one-act operas and operettas represent almost two-thirds of the repertory of French musical theatre in the Romantic period, so rarely are they performed nowadays. These pieces, intended for the use of small theatres with often limited financial resources, were subject to the proscriptions of a law of 1807: no more than two or three characters on stage, no chorus, no ballet . . . But Hervé and Offenbach – past masters in the art of getting round prohibitive regulations – managed to make the most of these limitations by getting the audience to imagine what they could not show.
Two tenors on stage, accompanied by no more than a piano, play by turns the roles of Fignolet – the ‘Crazy Composer’ in person – and his servant Séraphin, then the beggars Patachon, ‘Blind from birth’, and Giraffier, ‘Blinded by accident’, who quarrel over the best position on a bridge . . . This incredibly amusing and inventive repertory never fails to involve its spectators, so that auditorium and stage combine to celebrate in unison the ‘esprit de Paris’, halfway between bawdy comedy and surrealistic situations.
Creative residency at La Ferme du Buisson (Marne-la-Vallée)
With the support of Arcadi Île-de-France
Les Deux Aveugles (1855)
Bouffonnerie musicale in one act, music by Jacques Offenbach on a libretto by Jules Moinaux.
Le Compositeur toqué (1854)
Bouffonnerie musicale in one act, text and music by Hervé.
Giraffier / Séraphin Flannan Obé
Patachon / Fignolet Raphaël Brémard
Christophe Manien piano
Lola Kirchner directions, scenes and costumes
Cyril Monteil light design
"Un moment de grâce théâtrale."
"Une belle occasion de découvrir le répertoire drôle et inventif des pièces en un acte du XIXe siècle."
Nul ne pourrait parier du vainqueur de cette concurrence entre Hervé et Offenbach.
Journal des débats, September 1855