Off cycle and on tour

Ô mon bel inconnu

Musical comedy in three acts by Reynaldo Hahn on a libretto by Sacha Guitry, first performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens in 1933.
Light Music
The hatter, Prosper Aubertin, dissatisfied with the daily grind of his bourgeois life, dreams of having extramarital affairs. However, he is annoyed to find propositions from his wife, daughter and maid among the replies to an anonymous personal ad he had placed in the agony column. To find out what these women really want, he invites them all to a villa in the south of France. “This tragedy could have been called Know Thyself, and it could have ended very badly. As I was writing it in Alexandrines and before offering it to the Comédie-Française, I thought carefully for a good ten minutes… then I made it into a comedy”, joked Sacha Guitry. This musical comedy is the second lyric collaboration between the author and Reynaldo Hahn. At this time, the composer was enjoying well-deserved fame in the light lyric genres: after Ciboulette (1923), he had scored success after success in the smaller theatres of Paris and Ô mon bel inconnu did not disappoint. Le Figaro singled out the “elegance of tone and distinction of form” so characteristic of Hahn in the interwar period, while regarding him as the rightful heir of André Messager. What more could anyone want? A perfect cast for the first performance: headed by Jean Aquistapace and livened up by Arletty in the role of Félicie.

You can also catch Ô mon bel inconnu on 1st and 2nd december at the Opéra de Dijon and from 29 to 31 december at the Opéra d'Avignon.


Sat 16 December 2023
Théâtre des Arts, Rouen
Sun 17 December 2023
Théâtre des Arts, Rouen


Marc Leroy-Calatayud conductor

Émeline Bayart stage director
Quentin Amiot stage director assistant
Anne-Sophie Grac sets and costumes
Joël Fabing lighting

Prosper Marc Labonnette
Antoinette Clémence Tilquin
Marie-Anne Sheva Tehoval
Félicie Émeline Bayart
Claude Victor Sicard
Jean-Paul / M. Victor Jean-François Novelli
Hilarion Lallumette Carl Ghazarossian
Coproduction Bru Zane France / Opéra de Tours / Opéra Grand Avignon / Opéra de Rouen Normandie / Opéra de Massy
Executive production Bru Zane France
Score published by Salabert

Press quotes

Reynaldo Hahn n’aurait peut-être jamais osé rêver d’être aussi bien servi.

Laurent Bury,
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Malice, tendresse, effervescence : le spectacle réglé par Emeline Bayart aiguise les mots de Sacha Guitry enveloppés de musique par Reynaldo Hahn.

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Une mise en scène sans fautes.

Toute La Culture
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