La Fille de Madame Angot

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La Fille de Madame Angot ("The daughter of Madame Angot") is an opéra-comique[1] in three acts by Charles Lecocq (1832-1918)[2], with a libretto by Louis François Clairville (1811-1879)[3], Paul Siraudin (1813-1883)[4] and Victor Koning (1842-1894)[5].

The original text

Composed in 1872, and first performed in Brussels at the Théâtre des Fantai- sies Pauisiennes on 4 December, 1872 and At the Théâtre des Folies Dramatiques on 31 February, 1873. The opera was very popular at the time has often been repeated. Its risqué theme and clever use of popular slang influenced the work of other composers of the time, such as Gilbert and Sullivan.

The libretto was published in Paris by Tresse, 1873 and the music by Brandus et Cie in the same year. Revised in 1888.

Translations and adaptations

Performed in the French original in London during May of 1873, but soon various English translations of the text were done. For example, three different productions opened in London in 1873 and three more the following year and five in 1875. Among the prominent versions were those by Henry James Byron (1835-1884)[6], Henry Brougham Farnie (1836–1889)[7] and Frank Desprez (1853-1916)[8].

Performance history in South Africa

1887: Presented by the Searelle Opera Company at the Theatre Royal, Cape Town as part of a popular six-month season of opera. Also toured to Port Elizabeth. In this case, F.C.L. Bosman (1980, p. 385) ascribes the work to "F.Desprez", which seems to indicate that the company used the English version of the libretto written by Frank Desprez.


Facsimile version of the Tresse edition of the text (1873), The Internet Archive[9]

D.C. Boonzaier. 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 385-6, 438

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