is an operetta
Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is also closely related, in English-language works, to forms of musical theatre.-Origins:...
in three acts, composed by Leo Fall
Leo Fall was an Austrian composer of operettas.-Life:Born in Olmütz , Leo Fall was taught by his father Moritz Fall , a bandmaster and composer, who settled in Berlin. The younger Fall studied at the Vienna Conservatory before rejoining his father in Berlin...
with a libretto by Rudolf Schanzer and Ernst Friedrich Wilhelm Welisch. Conducted by the composer, It opened at the Berliner Theater in Berlin on September 9, 1922 and then at the Theater an der Wien
The Theater an der Wien is a historic theatre on the Left Wienzeile in the Mariahilf district of Vienna. Completed in 1801, it has seen the premieres of many celebrated works of theatre, opera, and symphonic music...
in Vienna on March 2, 1923.
Translated into English, Madame Pompadour
premiered at Daly's Theatre, London on December 20, 1923. It was also translated into Italian and performed at the Teatro Dal Verme
The Teatro Dal Verme is a theatre in Milan, Italy located on the Via San Giovanni sul Muro, on the site of the former private theatre the Politeama Ciniselli. It was designed by Giuseppe Pestagalli to a commission from Count Francesco Dal Verme, and was used primarily for plays and opera...
in Milan on 15 January 1924. It was later given in French in an adaptation by Albert Willemetz
Albert Willemetz was a French librettist.Albert Willemetz was a prolific lyricist. He invented a new type of musical, with a humorous and "sexy" style...
, Max Eddy and Jean Marietti, in Paris at the Théâtre Marigny
The Théâtre Marigny is a theatre in Paris, situated near the junction of the Champs-Élysées and the Avenue Marigny, in the 8th arrondissement. It was originally built to designs of the architect Charles Garnier for the display of a panorama, which opened in 1883...
on 16 May 1930. With the extraordinary success of the operetta in Berlin, Vienna, London and elsewhere, Fall regained the international fame that he had enjoyed prior to World War I. However, the composer died of cancer, two years later, at the age of only 52.
||Premiere Cast, 9 September 1922
(Conductor: Leo Fall)
| Madame de Pompadour
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...
Fritzi Massary was an Austrian-American actress and soprano singer....
| Louis XV
Baritone is a type of male singing voice that lies between the bass and tenor voices. It is the most common male voice. Originally from the Greek , meaning deep sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C Baritone (or...
| René, Comte D'estrades
| Josef Calicot
||Ralph Arthur Roberts
-Selected filmography:* The Crazy Countess * Call at Midnight * Einbrecher * My Wife the Champion Shot * Heiratsinstitut Ida & Co * My Daughter Doesn't Do That -External links:...
| Maurepas, Minister of Police
| Poulard, his assistant
| Collin, Pompadour's chamberlain
| Boucher, court painter
| Tourelle, porcelain manufacturer
| Austrian Ambassador
| Madeleine, Comtesse D'estrades
Contralto is the deepest female classical singing voice, with the lowest tessitura, falling between tenor and mezzo-soprano. It typically ranges between the F below middle C to the second G above middle C , although at the extremes some voices can reach the E below middle C or the second B above...
| Lieut. Corneille, in command of the guard
| Prunier, landlord of the "Nine Muses"
Married Count René is in Paris for Carnival
Carnaval is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnaval typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party...
, at an inn with his friend, the poet Josef. When René picks up an attractive girl, she is revealed to be Madame Pompadour
Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, also known as Madame de Pompadour was a member of the French court, and was the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to her death.-Biography:...
, and he is placed under arrest. She gains him a reprieve, but she demands that he serve as her personal bodyguard and that Josef write a birthday play. She tells René to keep his distance – until midnight. Meanwhile, René’s wife arrives, in search of her missing husband, and Louis XV wants to catch his mistress together with her lover. But clever Madame Pompadour is able to avoid detection, as she presents René’s wife as her sister.
The first English adaptation, by Frederick Lonsdale
Frederick Lonsdale was an English dramatist.-Personal life:Lonsdale was born Lionel Frederick Leonard in St Helier, Jersey, the son of Susan and John Henry Leonard, a tobacconist. He began as a private soldier and worked for the London and South Western Railway...
and Harry Graham (lyrics), which opened at Daly's Theatre
Daly's Theatre was a theatre in the City of Westminster. It was located at 2 Cranbourn Street, just off Leicester Square. It opened on 27 June 1893, and was demolished in 1937.-Early years:...
in London in 1923, ran for a very successful 469 performances. It starred Bertram Wallis
Bertram Wallis was an English actor and singer known for his performances in plays, musical comedies and operettas in the early 20th century, first as leading men and then in character roles. He also later appeared in several film roles.-Early years:Wallis was born in London...
as Louis XV, Derek Oldham
Derek Oldham was an English singer and actor, best known for his performances in the tenor roles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company....
as René, Huntley Wright
Huntley Wright was an English stage and film actor, comedian, dancer and singer, best known for creating roles in many important Edwardian musical comedies....
as Joseph Calicott and Evelyn Laye
Evelyn Laye, CBE was an English theatre and film actress.-Early years and career:Born as Elsie Evelyn Lay in Bloomsbury, London, Laye made her first stage appearance in August 1915 at the Theatre Royal, Brighton as Nang-Ping in Mr...
in the title role.
A second English adaptation, in two acts, with an adaptation by Clare Kummer and lyrics by Schanzer and Welisch, was produced on Broadway in 1924-25, starring Wilda Bennett. Following the success of the London production, film and other versions were made.
Musical numbers (English adaptation)
- Introduction & ensemble (Calicot and Chorus)
- Quintet - (René and Girls) - "Carnival Time" - (Laridi, laridon! At carnivals the world must have a gay time)
- Duet - (Pompadour & Mariette) - "Love me Now" - (I feel so excited, I won't deny)
- Duet - (Pompadour and René) - "By the Light of the Moon" - (Grant favour, In that arbour your heart will grow braver)
- Duet - (Calicot and Mariette) - "If I were King" - (Though I'd feel a trifle strange)
- Finale Act I
- Introduction & ensemble
- Duet- (Pompadour and René) - "Love's Sentry" - (Sentry 'shun, you're on parade now)
- Sextet - (Pompadour, Mariette, Madeleine & Three Maids) - "Tell me what your eyes were made for"
- Serenade - (René and Chorus of Soldiers) - "Madame Pompadour"
- Duet - (Pompadour & Calicot) - "Joseph!" - (Mine's a mad infatuation)
- Reminiscence ... "Madame Pompadour"
- Finale Act II
- Duet - (Calicot & Mariette) - "Two Little Birds" - (Though you're a girl I've gone simply mad about)
- Finale Act III