Les Bouffes de Bru Zane

Offenbach & Wachs

A colourful double bill in celebration of typical Second Empire French humour.
Operetta Light Music
Un mari dans la serrure
Operetta in one act to a libretto by Péricaud and Villemer and music by Frédéric Wachs, premiered at the Eldorado in 1876.
Wachs’ operetta ventures into the experimental realm of the absurd, both in the premise of the initial situation and in the treatment of the relationship between the two main characters (Bigorneau and Thérézina). Having mistakenly entered the apartment of his downstairs neighbour, Bigorneau glimpses Thérézina stabbing a man. It is not until later that he realises that this was a dummy and that the young actress was rehearsing a scene in a play. Although still hard to gauge, its success is suggested by the sequels presented by its librettists in 1878 at the Concert du XIXe Siècle music-hall: Un mari à l’essai (music by Bernicat) and Un mari à grande vitesse (music by Delormel).

Lischen et Fritzchen
'Conversation alsacienne' (Alsatian conversation) in one act, to a libretto by Paul Boisselot and music by Jacques Offenbach, premiered at the Kursaal in Bad Ems on 21 July 1863.
An immediate public success at its premiere, this operetta did just as well at its revival at the Bouffes-Parisiens. It launched the career of Mademoiselle Zulma Bouffar, marking the start of a collaboration with Offenbach, who starred her in a dozen or so works. Choosing a pair of Alsatian characters obviously had a great deal to do with where it was premiered: the European tourists who came to take the waters at Bad Ems in the summer must have been highly amused to hear the witty intermingling of French and German; they may even have suspected that the joke was on them. Who knows…


Tue 8 June 2021
Opéra de Montpellier, Montpellier
Wed 9 June 2021
Opéra de Montpellier, Montpellier


Lischen / Thérézina Adriana Bignagni Lesca
Fritzchen / Bigorneau Damien Bigourdan
Jean-Marc Fontana piano

Romain Gilbert direction
Mathieu Crescence scenes and costumes
Lila Meynard lighting


Frédéric Wachs
Un mari dans la serrure
Jacques Offenbach
Lischen et Fritzchen
Co-production Bru Zane France / Les Théâtres - Jeu de Paume
Sets made by the Opéra de Tours workshops
Joint realisation Théâtre Marigny
Bru Zane Mediabase
Digital resources for French Romantic music
The website hosts articles on people, works and topics authored by musicologists and historians collaborating with Palazzetto Bru Zane.