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Music Text

Libretto by Hector Crémieux and Étienne Tréfeu (F)



Abbreviations (PDF)



This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris
Company: Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens

World premiere of version
Théâtre des Menus-Plaisirs, Paris
Company: Théâtre des Menus-Plaisirs


Sifroy, ruler of a Flemish principality, has fallen under an evil spell. The Duke is married to the beautiful Geneviève of Brabant, but has never consummated the marriage and is consequently without children. According to the law, he is to be deposed if he cannot produce a heir to the throne after two years of marriage. In order to break the spell, he embarks upon a pilgrimage and indeed feels substantially more potent when he returns. Yet the appointed night of love again comes to naught. Sifroy upset his stomach, having consumed an excess of pastries that ostensibly enhance virility.

Karl Martell appears and calls upon Sifroy and his men to accompany him on a crusade to Palestine. Shortly before departure, Duke Sifroy repudiates his wife Geneviève, who has been accused of infidelity by his scheming advisor Golo. Golo receives the commission to kill Geneviève. She is able to escape into the forest. Golo, who has secretly had his eye on Geneviève, catches her. When she rejects him, he decides to have her murdered after all. However, Geneviève is protected by her page Drogan, and Golo is ultimately exposed at a feast in the capital city. Sifroy returns from his alleged military expedition, which however served only for amusement. The liberated Geneviève is universally acclaimed.


Comic, Poetic, Romantic



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