Touring production

Madame Favart

by Jacques Offenbach
It was on 28 December 1878 that the Folies-Dramatiques staged the premiere of Offenbach’s three-act opéra-comique, Madame Favart, to a text by Chivot and Duru. These two librettists, who had already racked up successes with Lecocq and Hervé, again drew their inspiration for this opera from two real-life characters: the famous actress Justine Favart and her husband, Charles-Simon. During this same period, the dancer La Camargo (Lecocq) was also brought to the stage, just as later Hahn was to take an interest in Mademoiselle Guimard. The plot – purely imaginary – is governed more by the rhythms and popular dances conjuring up the background of these two performers than by a more predictable Neoclassicism. In the overture and one chorus of the first act, Offenbach intentionally quotes the song ‘Elle aime à rire, elle aime à boire’ by Fanchon, the hurdy-gurdy girl, a character successfully played at the time by Madame Favart. Likewise, in Act III, a mise en abyme features a section from the opéra-comique La Chercheuse d’esprit, another of the couple’s great triumphs. Using Madame Favart’s reputation for excelling in quick-change parts, the work revolves around repeated mistaken identities that force the main protagonist to adopt various disguises as she deals with various misadventures.
Limoges Caen


opéra-comique in three acts by Offenbach
to a libretto by Chivot and Duru
premiered at the Folies-Dramatiques on 28 December 1878


Sun 3 November 2019
Opéra Théâtre de Limoges, Limoges
Tue 5 November 2019
Opéra Théâtre de Limoges, Limoges
Thu 7 November 2019
Opéra Théâtre de Limoges, Limoges
Sun 29 December 2019
Théâtre de Caen, Caen
Tue 31 December 2019
Théâtre de Caen, Caen


Laurent Campellone conductor
Anne Kessler direction
Guy Zilberstein dramaturgy
Andrew D. Edwards scenes
Bernadette Villard costumes
Glyslein Lefever choreography
Arnaud Jung light design

Madame Favart Marion Lebègue
Charles-Simon Favart Christian Helmer
Suzanne Anne-Catherine Gillet
Hector de Boispréau François Rougier
Major Cotignac Franck Leguérinel
Marquis de Pontsablé Éric Huchet
Biscotin Lionel Peintre
Sergent Larose Raphaël Brémard
Produzione Opéra Comique
Coproduzione Opéra de Limoges / Théâtre de Caen / Bru Zane
Edizioni musicali del Palazzetto Bru Zane
Bru Zane Mediabase
Digital resources for French Romantic music
Madame Favart -Offenbach