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Music Text

Libretto by Jean Nicolas Bouilly (F)


4S,2T,6B,actor; mixed chorus;
2(=picc).2.2.2-; SD on stage

Abbreviations (PDF)


Anton J. Benjamin / Simrock

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


World Premiere
Théâtre Feydeau, Paris
Company: Julie-Angélique Scio / Pierre Gaveaux / Antoine Juliet

World premiere of version
Schloßtheater, Rheinsberg
Simone Zeisberg-Meiser, director
Conductor: Rustam Samedov
Company: Solisten der Musikakademie Rheinsberg / Kammerorchester 1770 / Chor der Musikhochschulen Berlin & Ro


ARMAND, President of the parlament Tenor
CONSTANCE, his wife Soprano
MIKÉLI, a Savoyard, water carrier Bass
DANIEL, his father Bass
ANTONIO, Mikéli's son Tenor
MARCÉLINA, Mikéli's daughter Soprano
SÉMOS, a rich tenant in Gonesse Bass
ANGÉLINA, his daughter Soprano
Two Officers Basses
An Officer of the guards silent role
Two Italian soldiers Basses
A Girl Soprano
Citizens of Gonesse, soldiers, peasants
Time and Place

In Paris and the nearby village Gonesse, 1647


In an effort to deprive parliament of the power it only recently regained, Cardinal Mazarin has put a bounty on the head of its president, Count Armand. Besieged by a raging crowd and Mazarin’s soldiers, Armand and his wife Constance are rescued by Mikéli, a water carrier who happens to be passing by and who intervenes with both cunning and courage. He hides the two of them from the search parties in his house. Mikéli’s son, Antonio, recognises Armand as the man who saved him from hunger and cold many years ago. Antonio’s forthcoming marriage to Angélina, the daughter of the rich tenant Sémos in Gonesse, offers an opportunity to get the persecuted couple safely out of Paris. While Constance uses the passport of Antonio’s sister, Marcélina, Armand is hidden away in Mikéli’s water barrel. When the sentries on guard become suspicious, Mikéli diverts their attention and puts them on the wrong track.
Outside the city, however, the situation remains precarious as soldiers are roaming about the area. When Constance arouses suspicion and is caught out, Armand assists her, holding his gun at the ready. Both of them are arrested, and during their interrogation, Armand’s name escapes the mouth of the frightened Constance. Now all hope seems lost. Back in Paris, however, Mikéli sparks off a movement that eventually leads the queen to issue a reprieval for Armand, which means that the marriage of Antonio and Angélina can finally take place.



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