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Music Text

Libretto by Maurice Ordonneau and Albin Valabregue; German version by AM Willner; new version by Andreas Bauer, Egon Maiwald and Alfred Mönch (F,G)


2S,6T,Bar,2B; chorus;

Abbreviations (PDF)



World Premiere
Théâtre de la Gaîté, Paris
Company: Unknown


MAXIMUS, Prior of a convent Lyric Baritone
LANCELOT, a monk Buffo Tenor
AGUELET, BALTHASAR, BENOIST, BASILIUS, monks 2 Tenors and 2 Basses
LOREMOIS, his friend Lyric Tenor
HILARIUS, doll-maker Tenor
MRS HILARIUS, his wife Soprano
ALESIA, their daughter Soubrette Soprano
JUSTINE, her friend
PIERRE, assistant to Hilarius
JEAN and FRANCOIS, servants to Chanterelle
JEANETTE, chambermaid
A Notary
Wedding guests, servants and maids
Time and Place

Late 19th century. In a cloister; in the doll workshop of Hilarius; in the villa of Baron Chanterelle.


Maximus and his fellow-believers are desperate because they have no money and almost nothing to eat. Lancelot, who has only been in the monastery for a short time, is supposed to ask his wealthy uncle for help. The uncle agrees, but only on the condition that Lancelot get married. The friars now plan to deceive the uncle with one of Master Hilarius' dolls, introducing it as Lancelot's wife. Hilarius has just finished a doll that closely resembles his daughter Alesia. In order to win Lancelot, whom she is in love with, for herself, Alesia pretends to be the doll. Only after the wedding does Lancelot become aware of the scam. The young couple has to leave the monastery, whilst the friars seek consolation in the large sum they have received from the uncle.


Comic, Poetic

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