Ludovic (opera)

Ludovic is a two act opéra comique to a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges. The music, by Ferdinand Hérold, was left unfinished at his death, and the work was completed by Fromental Halévy.

The plot, elements of which were later reworked by Halévy and Saint-Georges in Le val d'Andorre (1847), centres on misplaced alliance, love, forced conscription, flight, pardon and marriage.

Chopin wrote a set of variations (opus 12, 1833) on the Act I aria "Je vends des Scapulaires" from Ludovic.

Performance history

The opera was premiered by the Paris Opéra-Comique at the Salle de la Bourse on 16 May 1833, and achieved 70 performances by the end of 1834, making it a modest success.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 16 May 1833
(Conductor: - )
Ludovic tenor Louis-Augustin Lemonnier
Nice soprano Marie Massy
Gregorio baritone Vizentini
Francesca soprano Félicité Pradher
Scipion bass


Place: The countryside around Rome

The main characters are Ludovic, a farmer from Corsica, Francesca, who owns the farm he manages, and her cousin Gregorio. A bizarre touch, which would perhaps make the opera unacceptable to present-day sensibilities, is that when, at the end of act 1, Ludovic hears of Francesca's intended marriage to Gregorio, that he shoots her, wounding her in the arm. This apparently serves to make her fall in love with her assailant.


  • Amadeus Almanac (16 May 1833), accessed 18 December 2008
  • Jordan, Ruth, Fromental Halévy. London, 1994. ISBN 978-1-871082-51-7
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