Le Maréchal Ferrant

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Le Maréchal Ferrant ("The farrier") is an opéra comique[1] by Antoine-François Quétant (1733 - 1823)[2] , with music by François-André Danican Philidor (1726–1795)[3].

Original play

The work is based on Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron and was first published and performed at the Théâtre de la Foire St Laurentin in Paris on 22 August 1761 as a one-act play. In 1762 it was done and published in a two act version, and this was also performed in French in the Amsterdam theatre.


In 1769 a translation into Dutch by Jacques Toussaint Neyts (1727-1794), entitled De Paarde Smit , was published in Amsterdam in 1769.

In 1784 another Dutch translation, entitled De Hoefsmid, by J. Menkema Jr was published in Amsterdam - this was the text used in South Africa.

Performance history in South Africa

1835: Performed as De Hoefsmid, the 1784 Dutch version by Menkema, by the children's company Kunst en Smaak in the Liefhebbery Tooneel on 12 September 1835, as afterpiece to Claudine (Van der Willigen),

1835: Performed again as De Hoefsmid by the children's company Kunst en Smaak, on 19 September, this time alongside De Twee Jagers en het Melkmeisje and 't Zal laat Worden (Meijer).

1836: De Hoefsmid performed once more by the children's company Kunst en Smaak in the Liefhebbery Tooneel on 10 June, alongside De Struikroovers van Kalabrien, of De Onveilige Wildernis (J.-M. Loaisel-Tréogate).

1849: De Hoefsmid performed on 8 June by Tot Oefening en Vermaak in the Hoopstraat-Skouburg, alongside Zoë, of De Zegepraal eener Standvastige Liefde (Lijnslager, based on Mercier), and two "divertissements" (Oude Meisjes van drie en vyftig Jaren and Die het Schoentje past, die trekt ze aan).


F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [4]: pp. 271, 274, 453

Biographical details of Quétant, Biographie Universelle Ancienne et Moderne, 1846: Google E-book.[5]



Julian Rushton. 1992. "Maréchal ferrant, Le", in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (Grove Music Online: January 2001)[6]

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