Les Amans Malheureux, ou Le Comte de Comminge

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Les Amans Malheureux, ou Le Comte de Comminge is a French verse drama in 3 acts by Baculard d'Arnaud (1718–1805)[1].

The original text

Based on the short novel Mémoires du Comte de Comminge (1735) by Claudine Alexandrine Guérin de Tencin (1682-1749)[2], the play tells of the struggles of the King of Castile, Alfonso XI, and his mistress, the "favourite" Leonora, against the backdrop of the political wiles of receding Moorish Spain and the life of the Catholic Church. The text of the play was published in Paris and The Hague by L’Escalapart, in 1764.

Translations and adaptations

The play formed the basis of the opera La Favorite by by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1838)[3] and , with a French libretto by Alphonse Royer (1803-1875)[4] and Gustave Vaëz (1812-1862)[5], which premiered at the Académie Royale de Musique (Salle Le Peletier) in Paris on December 2, 1840.

Performance history in South Africa

1895: The operatic version, La Favorita, performed by the Ancarina Massimimi Italian Opera Company in the Opera House, Cape Town. (See entry on La Favorite)


Facsimile version of Les Amans Malheureux, ou Le Comte de Comminge’’, "drame en 3 actes et en vers, précédé d'un discours préliminaire et suivi des Mémoires du comte de Comminge", Gallica[6]



Claudine Alexandrine Guérin de Tencin, The History of the Count de Comminge, translated by Charlotte Lennox (edited by Marianna D’Ezio) Cambridge Scholars Publishing: pp. 1-3, [7]

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 1932. (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.401,

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