7th Festival Palazzetto Bru Zane Paris

Madame Favart

It was on 28 December 1878 that the Folies-Dramatiques staged the premiere of Offenbach’s three-act opéra-comique, Madame Favart, to a text by Chivot and Duru. These two librettists, who had already racked up successes with Lecocq and Hervé, again drew their inspiration for this opera from two real-life characters: the famous actress Justine Favart and her husband, Charles-Simon. During this same period, the dancer La Camargo (Lecocq) was also brought to the stage, just as later Hahn was to take an interest in Mademoiselle Guimard. The plot – purely imaginary – is governed more by the rhythms and popular dances conjuring up the background of these two performers than by a more predictable Neoclassicism. In the overture and one chorus of the first act, Offenbach intentionally quotes the song ‘Elle aime à rire, elle aime à boire’ by Fanchon, the hurdy-gurdy girl, a character successfully played at the time by Madame Favart. Likewise, in Act III, a mise en abyme features a section from the opéra-comique La Chercheuse d’esprit, another of the couple’s great triumphs. Using Madame Favart’s reputation for excelling in quick-change parts, the work revolves around repeated mistaken identities that force the main protagonist to adopt various disguises as she deals with various misadventures.

Production Opéra Comique
Co-production Opéra de Limoges / Théâtre de Caen / Bru Zane France
Scores published and made available by the Palazzetto Bru Zane

Within the context of the 7th Festival Palazzetto Bru Zane Paris

Concert program

Madame Favart


Laurent Campellone conductor
Anne Kessler director

Madame Favart Marion Lebègue
Charles-Simon Favart Christian Helmer
Suzanne Anne-Catherine Gillet
Hector de Boispréau François Rougier
Le Major Cotignac Franck Leguérinel
Le Marquis de Pontsablé Éric Huchet
Biscotin Lionel Peintre
Le Sergent Larose Raphaël Brémard