Le Chalet

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Le Chalet is an opéra comique[1] in one act by Eugène Scribe (1791-1861)[2], Mélesville (1787-1865)[3] and Adolphe Adam(1803-1856)[4].

The original text

The French libretto was written by Eugène Scribe (1791-1861)[5] and Mélesville (1787-1865)[6] after the singspiel Jery und Bätely by Goethe, and music by Adolphe Adam(1803-1856)[7]. First performed at the Opéra-Comique, Salle de la Bourse, Paris on 25 September 1834.

Translations and adaptations

Adapted into English by Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839)[8] as The Swiss Chalet, or Why don't she Marry?, with music by Arthur Edward Shelden Seguin (1809-1852)[9].

The text also referred to simply as The Swiss Cottage or as Why Don't She Marry?, and on occasion called a musical burletta. The title Le Chalet Suisse found in some sources, where it appears the text is most probably also an English version.

The Swiss Chalet, or Why don't she Marry? was first performed at the Royal Olympic Theatre, London, followed by performances at various American theatres. The text was published as Volume 405 of Dicks' standard plays, Volume 1 of Lacy's acting edition and in Samuel French's American Drama (no LXXIX), 1860 and by Thomas Hailes Lacy, London, 1866.

Performance history in South Africa

1857: Performed as as Why don't She Marry? for the opening production in Sefton Parry's first wooden theatre in Harrington Street, Cape Town, on 14 September (along with Morton's two plays A Kiss in the Dark and A Thumping Legacy).

1861: Performed as Le Chalet Suisse, uncredited and billed as the "Musical Comedietta", it was performed by Sefton Parry and company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town on 27 June, along with London Assurance (Boucicault). It is most probably the work by Scribe et al. (The title is misspelled by Bosman as "Le Chalet Swisse" in the text, but correctly as "Le Chalet Suisse" in the index to his 1980 history.)

1867: Performed as The Swiss Cottage by the Le Roy-Duret Company on 25 September as part of their "Grand Re-opening Night" in the Harrington Street Theatre, Cape Town, with Good for Nothing (Buckstone) , Delicate Ground (Dance).

1871: Performed as The Swiss Cottage by the visiting Bijou Troupe in the Cape Town Institute building on 20 March, with The Rough Diamond (Buckstone).

1875: Performed as The Swiss Cottage by Disney Roebuck and his company and featuring The Paultons, in the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town, on 6 July, with Frou-Frou (Mailhoc and Halévy).








F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 57, 59, 61, 98, 230, 236, 254, 268, 325, 331.

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