- La fille du tambour-major
"La fille du tambour-major" ("The Drum-Major's Daughter") is an
opéra comique, or operetta, in three acts by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was written by Alfred Duruand Henri Charles Chivot(who often wrote libretti for Charles Lecocq).
The title is an allusion to
Gaetano Donizetti's La fille du régiment.
It was first staged at the
Folies-Dramatiquesin Parison 13 December 1879. This late Offenbach piece followed " Madame Favart" (1878) and would soon be followed by Offenbach's masterpiece, " Tales of Hoffman". This was the last of his operas that Offenbach lived to see produced. The piece was very successful, running for over 240 performances in its initial production and enjoying many foreign productions into the 1880s, although it did not retain the popularity outside of France of some of some Offenbach pieces. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=9LQ9-t5jG2wC&pg=PA149&lpg=PA149&dq=%22La+fille+du+tambour-major%22+duru+chivot+%22New+York%22+london&source=web&ots=hIT1AyxAFK&sig=sES7OWZUOQGrPOEgbboXlFTj0Iw&hl=en Gammond, Peter "Offenbach", p. 149 (1986; Omnibus Press)] ISBN 0711902577]
Offenbach's score is more adventurous and grander in scope than his previous works and adopts an unusually complex style for some of the melody lines. A few of the vocal numbers are also more challenging for the singers than earlier Offenbach works.
The patriotic plot, set during the Austrian occupation of Italy as
Napoleoninvades Lombardyin 1806, is similar in its military flavour to that of Donizetti's " La fille du régiment".
"The convent of Biella in Northern Italy "
A company of French soldiers, led by Lieutenant Robert, crosses the Alps to join the army of the first consul who commands the Italian troops. The French invade the convent - the nuns have fled, and the only remaining occupant is a young student at the convent school who was in penitence, Stella, daughter of the Duke della Volta.
"A room of the palace of the Duke della Volta in Novare "
Stella falls in love with Robert, but her father has promised her hand to a feeble-minded old marquis, Bambini. However, Lieutenant Robert receives the news that Stella is the daughter, not of the duke, but of a French drum-major.
"The hotel trade of the Gold Lion in Milan; A street in Milan"
The war is not over, but Stella searches for Lieutenant Robert. The Austrians seize Stella. However Napoleon's victory changes everything. The French troops arrive, and Milan greets the liberators and Stella can marry Lieutenant Robert.
*Andrew Lamb, "La Fille du tambour-major" in "The
New Grove Dictionary of Opera", ed. Stanley Sadie, London, 1992 ISBN 0-333-73432-7
* [http://perso.orange.fr/anao/oeuvre/filletm.html Frence site about the operetta]
* [http://www.partitura.nl/Engels/Modernevertalingen/TambourMajor-eng.htm Profile of the operetta]
* [http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=t_APAAAAYAAJ&dq=%22la+fille+du+tambour+major%22&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=Ci_7IdkpVG&sig=1VojR4D48eKjLBYaEnkiXI9TpFA#PPA76,M1 The French libretto]
* [http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Dec03/tambour.htm Information about the operetta and a recording of it]
* [http://photographersdirect.com/stockphotography/f/filles.asp Many illustrations and photograhs from the opera]
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