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Music Text

Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy; German version Ralf-Olivier Schwarz (F,E)



Abbreviations (PDF)



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


World Premiere
Palais-Royal, Paris
Company: unknown


HECTOR, called "Toto" Soprano
RAOUL, "Marquis de la Pépinière" and Tenor
BLANCHE, "Vicomtesse de la Farandole", his friends Soprano
JEANNE, his daughter Soprano
PITOU, her foster brother Tenor
CATHERINE Soprano (or Light High Mezzo-Soprano [Dugazon])
MASSEPIN, notary Tenor or High Baritone (Baryton Martin)
NIQUETTE, farm woman Sorapno
Old Servant Bass
Farm people mixed chorus

The two clans Crécy-Crécy and La Roche-Trompette live close to each other and have been feuding for centuries. Hector, called Toto, is the youngest son of the La Roche-Trompette clan. He has spent his family’s fortune in Paris and has now come back for the auction of his castle. For Crécy-Crécy, this is his opportunity to take revenge: he plans to buy his rival’s castle and make it into a stable! His daughter Jeanne, though, has secretly been in love with Toto since her childhood and asks Pitou, who she shared a wet nurse with, to buy the building on her behalf. Pitou, on the other hand, is in love with Catherine, a farming woman who in turn is enamoured with Raoul, Toto’s elegant companion from Paris. Dressed up as a general, Pitou purchases the castle at the auction. Unfortunately, he loses his wig and his fake beard so he has to escape. He returns completely dandified and smelling of perfume. Catherine, estranged by Raoul’s commitment to simple country life, is drawn to Pitou. Crécy-Crécy, however, loses his heart to Blanche, a friend of Toto’s from Paris, and begins courting her. To avoid being compromised, he dresses up as a postman for his courtship. Finally, all identities are revealed and Crécy-Crécy gives his blessing to Jeanne and Toto, who are given the old and venerable castle as their dowry.





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