OPERETTA by Reynaldo Hahn in three acts with a libretto by Robert de Flers and Francis de Croisset.
Premiered at the Théâtre des Variétés on 7 April 1923. Revival of the February 2013 production.
Intended to set the spice of Parisian operetta against American musical comedy, Ciboulette was Reynaldo Hahn’s first light score.
It features the tribulations of the pretty market gardener Ciboulette, determined to earn herself a bright future without sacrificing her feelings. Her pursuit of happiness leads her to come across a whole collection of typical characters from the Paris of the Belle Époque, from the humblest to the most distinguished.
Ciboulette was first performed at the Théâtre des Variétés by Edmée Favart and Jean Périer, two artists trained at the Opéra Comique. This production briskly led by Laurence Equilbey and Michel Fau was acclaimed in 2013 and, in the great tradition of our house, invites the audience to sing along with the artists the most famous tunes of the score.
Presentation of the work by Agnès Terrier 40 minutes prior to each performance.
Performance duration : 2h50 with an intermission
With the support of:
Musical direction and artistic collaboration, Laurence Equilbey
Staging, Michel Fau
Scenery, Bernard Fau et Citronelle Dufay
Costumes, David Belugou
Lights, Joël Fabing
Collaboration to movements, Cécile Roussat
Musical assistant and choir master, Christophe Grapperon
Assistant to staging, Damien Lefevre
Vocal coachs, Nicolaï Maslenko, Nicolas Ducloux
Ciboulette, Mélody Louledjian
Duparquet, Tassis Christoyannis
Antonin, Julien Behr
Zénobie, Olivia Doray
Roger, Ronan Debois
Françoise, Caroline Chassany
Monsieur Grenu, Jean-Claude Sarragosse
Madame Grenu, Guillemette Laurens
Victor, Patrick Kabongo Mubenga
Le Patron, Le Maire, Jean-Yves Ravoux
Grisard, Safir Behloul
Le Lieutenant, Thibault de Damas
Madame Pingret, Andréa Ferréol
La Comtesse de Castiglione, Michel Fau
Le Directeur d’opéra, Jérôme Deschamps
Orchestra, Orchestre de chambre de Paris
Production, Opéra Comique
Co-production, Opéra Théâtre de Saint-Etienne
With the support of:
Sing along Ciboulette
The Opéra Comique invites you to be singers for an evening!
Join the artists on stage without leaving your seat by singing along with them two popular tunes, Le Refrain du Muguet and La Valse de Ciboulette.
On each performance, you are invited to rehearse from 7 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. at Salle Bizet for an informal and merry rendezvous conducted by choirmaster Christophe Grapperon (from 2 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. on Sunday 3 May).
You'll find here the lyrics and score of these tunes to be sung along on
One night of 1867 in Paris at a café in Les Halles neighborhood, some hussars drink the health of their new captain, dashing Roger de Lansquenet. Some courtesans partake in the feast but Roger’s mistress, Zénobie, is busy with another lover, the wealthy Antonin de Mourmelon. No sooner has the landlord got rid of the group than Zénobie steps in with Antonin. She sends the young man on an idle errand in order to join Roger. The café is also frequented by a sentimental and nostalgic controller at Les Halles, Duparquet. The reunion of Roger and Zénobie is interrupted by the return of empty-handed Antonin. He learns from Duparquet how much he is deceived by Zénobie. Never mind: Antonin “gives” his mistress to the captain together with all her debts.
On the marketplace of Les Halles at the crack of dawn the market gardeners arrive from rural suburbs around Paris led by Françoise and Auguste. A little late, Ciboulette is warmly greeted: her freshness and repartee make her the mascot of the market. At her request, Auguste tells her that the fishmonger, Madame Pingret, failing to sell fresh produce, reads the future in the palm of the hand. That’s exactly what she needs: she said yes to her eight suitors! Madame Pingret predicts her fame and love but also tests, or rather conditions: Ciboulette will find her man under a cabbage, will win him away from a woman who’ll turn white instantly and will receive a formal letter in a tambourine.
A quarrel breaks out between a customer, Grisart and Ciboulette. Duparquet proves incapable of settling it but Antonin indemnifies Ciboulette. The two young people have a conversation. Quite drunk, Antonin lies down in a cart of vegetables. The sun rises, the vendors of lilies of the valley arrive, the market gardeners return to their suburbs.
On their farm in Aubervilliers the Grenus are waiting for their niece Ciboulette. Today is her birthday. She arrives with Duparquet who’s taking his day off. Ciboulette’s uncle urges her to give up novels and choose among her eight suitors, but she loves none of them.
Fortunately, Antonin appears from the cart. Duparquet suggests him to pretend to be the fiancé and introduces him as the new sharecropper. Ciboulette agrees: was he not sleeping under the cabbages? Her uncle believes the stratagem. Once together, the two lovers are shier but more sincere. The hussars arrive with Zénobie. Ciboulette locks up Antonin in the cellar and confronts the courtesan during a song recital before throwing flour at her. Antonin runs after Zénobie. Ciboulette realizes that she loves him but lost him. Heaping reproaches on Duparquet, she listens to his secrets: when he was known as Rodolphe, he led a Bohemian life and was Mimi’s lover, but he still laments her death.
To redeem himself, Duparquet offers Ciboulette to introduce her to the director of an opera house who will make her a star in his troupe. The villagers heartily celebrate the departure of Ciboulette, alias Conchita Ciboulero, for the Boulevard des Italiens.
At the Opéra Comique the director welcomes his friends: the Countess of Castiglione, an alluring lounge singer, Duparquet, a baron for the nonce, and Antonin, glad to have broken up with Zénobie. When Duparquet tells him that Ciboulette has disappeared, Antonin decides to kill himself. The two write his farewell letter to Ciboulette and go for a drink.
Ciboulette appears with her surrogate mother, Madame Pingret the fishmonger.They’re wearing their best outfits. Antonin courts her without recognizing her.When the director gives Ciboulette the farewell letter in a tambourine, the three conditions are fulfilled. Antonin and Ciboulette fall into each other’s arms.