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British Musical Theatre   Chilpéric

Chilpéric is an opéra bouffe with libretto and music by Hervé, first produced in Paris on 24 October 1868 at the Théâtre des Folies-Dramatiques in Paris. The piece was mounted in London at the Lyceum Theatre in 1870 in English starring the author and Selina Dolaro and in an adaptation by H. B. Farnie at the Empire Theatre in 1884.

Dramatis Personæ

  King of the Gauls, who, going after a little game, misses a fox and catches a dear.
  The dear in question - an ambitious Rustic, who fain would marry both Landry and Chilperic.
SIEGBERT Chilperic's hen-pecked brother.
BRUNEHAUT The hen that pecked him.
  A Spanish Princess, contracted to Chilperic, and therefore Fredegonda's rival.
  Her escort, a needy Noble, who talks in broken Spanish, and deals in Spanish bonds.
SENNA Court Physician, and keeper of the royal digestion.
  Chamberlain to Chilperic, and Grand Referee in Etiquette - subsequently enamoured of Fredegonda.
LANDRY A young Peasant, Fredegonda's lover.
DIVITIACUS The Arch-Druid - a sporting prophet.
ALFRED The pet page.

MIDI Files

Scene 1  -  A Forest.

Scene 2  -  Ante-Room of the Palace.

  • No. 8 - Finale Scene 2 - "When my sister comes I promise she'll repay all the pains you take in her behalf today ... Don't, I pray, speak of it! We don't plot to profit."

Scene 3  -  Throne Room in the Palace.

  • No. 9 - Chorus, with Landry and Pages - "'Tis ten o'clock,  the hour is here when Chilperic from sleep arises.  If us in idling he surprises, he'll box our ears..."
  • No. 10 - Song - Chilperic - "A butterfly liv'd in a garden gay, 'mid buds and flow'rets rare.  He lurk'd in the leaves of a rose-tree spray that scented all the air..."
  • No. 11 - Recit. & Chorus - "The Princess is at hand.  There's on the steps a vision of trunks and traps that stand awaiting for admission.  Show her into the parlour."
  • No. 12 - Duett - Galswinda and Chilperic - "Would you prove how much love in woman's bosom gloweth?  You shall earn full return of all your heart bestoweth..."
  • No. 13 - Finale Scene 3 - "Let us strike a chorus up before we crush the wedding cup. ... All my wish will be satisfied, for I shall be a blushing bride..."

Scene 4  -  A Corridor in the Palace.

Scene 5  -  Garden Set.

  • No. 15 - Chorus and Solo - Landry and Pages - "With jest and song the hours we'll prolong;  We'll sing and we'll laugh, and bumpers we'll quaff, this wedding new..."
  • No. 16 - Lament - Fredegonda - "Farewell the tranquil mind, farewell content!  For me no more the sun of luck has shone, I'm turn'd away against my own consent."
  • No. 16b - Lament - Fredegonda (verse 2) - "The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, and my day's done, tho' I don't hear a bell, and those who came to jeer..."
  • No. 17 - Finale - "Four faiths are plighted, four hearts united,  if you're delighted, we've won our cause.  Smile, then, if you've all grounds for approval..."

External Link
Vocal Score at ISMLP.
Illustrated Music Cover

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