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Music Text

Libretto by Jules Henri Vernoy Marquis de Saint-Georges, in a German version by Ludwig Rellstab (G)


3S,3T,3B; chorus;

Abbreviations (PDF)



This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Opéra Comique, Paris
Company: Unknown


STÉPHAN, a young hunter Tenor
SATURNIN, fishery manager Tenor
LEJOYEUX, sergeant Tenor
JACQUES SINCÈRE, an old goatherd Bass
L'ENDORMI, non-commissioned officer and recruiting officer Bass
THÉRÈSE, tenant Soprano
ROSE DE MAI, in her duty Soprano
GEORGETTE, a rich heiress Soprano
Peasants, soldiers, recruits, male and female reapers, magistrates
Time and Place

The republic of Andorra at the time of Louis XV


In return for independence, the republic of Andorra must give the king of France 15 recruits every year who are conscripted by way of drawing lots. Saturnin, who fears that he could be picked out this year, speculates on his marriage with the rich tenant Thérèse. As he can’t buy his freedom, marriage would be his sole rescue. But it is not he who is chosen by the recruiter’s lot, but Stéphan, who is in love with Rose, Thérèse’s foster-daughter. Though Rose returns his love, she does not believe she can become his wife as she is completely destitute. She was found by the villagers under a rose bush as a baby and was brought up by the old tenant who adopted her. Jacques the goatherd, who had also taken care of Rose like a father and who is the only one who knows about her origin, discloses to her that an inheritance awaits her in Spain. Now the moment has come to get it for her. When Thérèse, too, travels abroad on mysterious business, Rose uses the money Thérèse has given her to buy Stéphan’s freedom. She plans to pay back the money from her expected inheritance. But when Jacques returns empty-handed, she seems to be a thief. And Stéphan, who is unaware that it was her who had redeemed him, turns to another woman. Eventually a fantastic truth comes up by chance, and everything turns out for the best.


Comic, Romantic

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