La bonne d'enfant
It was first performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens, Paris on 14 October 1856. Offenbach's early operettas were small-scale one-act works, since the law in France limited musical theatre works (other than grand opera) to one-act pieces with no more than three singers and, perhaps, some mute characters. In 1858, this law was changed, and Offenbach was able to offer full-length operettas, beginning with Orpheus in the Underworld.
The piece was seen in 1857 at the St James's Theatre in London, and in Vienna in 1862 with Tostée as Dorothée; it was subsequently produced there in Hungarian.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, October 14, 1856|
(Conductor: Jacques Offenbach)
|Dorothée, a nanny||soprano||Garnier|
|Gargaillou, a chimney sweep||tenor||Michel|
|Mitouflard, a fireman||bass||Dubouchet|
Dorothée is tired of being a nanny and wants to marry to become the mistress of her own house. She has two suitors: Mitouflard, the fireman and Gargaillou, the chimneysweep. During an evening when her employers are out of the house, both gentlemen try to convince her to marry them, which leads to a number of comic situations. She ends up deciding to marry 'Brin d'Amour', the trumpeter of the Royal Dragoons, but tells her suitors that she will invite them to her wedding.
- Gänzl K. The Encyclopaedia of the Musical Theatre. Blackwell, Oxford, 1994.
- Yon, Jean-Claude. Jacques Offenbach. Editions Gallimard, Paris, 2000.