Home André Messager Fortunio, opera (1907)
Fortunio is a comédie lyrique or opera in 4 Acts and 5 tableaux by composer André Messager. The French language libretto by Gaston Arman de Caillavet and Robert de Flers is based on...Read more
Fortunio is a comédie lyrique or opera in 4 Acts and 5 tableaux by composer André Messager. The French language libretto by Gaston Arman de Caillavet and Robert de Flers is based on Alfred de Musset`s comedy Le Chandelier.
On the square outside the church, games of boules are in progress. Landry, the clerk of Maître André toasts his master, a fine lawyer and husband of the young and beautiful Jacqueline. Maître Subtil passes by with his nephew Fortunio for whom he has just obtained a position with his colleague. Landry, Fortunio`s older cousin, gives advice for his new career, but Fortunio, shy and dreamy, doesn`t listen. A regiment enters, headed by its new captain, the dashing Clavaroche, who asks about potential female conquests. Discovering the Jacqueline is not available, he naturally decides that he will try to seduce her, and shortly sees her leaving the church. He gains the confidence of her husband, impressed by his uniform, which will open the doors of André`s house. Fortunio too has been enraptured by the sight of Jacqueline and pours out his emotion as the curtain falls.
Next morning, Maître André awakens his wife, alarmed: one of his clerks saw a man enter at night through the window in her room. To divert her husband, Jacqueline, in tears, while rejecting the charge, accuses her husband of neglecting her. Maître André sheepishly leaves and Clavaroche clambers out of the cupboard where had been hiding. The problem requires a solution in the form of a `chandelier`: something to attract suspicion, while leaving the true lover concealed. The `chandelier` is found: Fortunio, whom Jacqueline spies through the window. When the clerks pay their morning respects to her she gets him to serve her - but the devoted response of the young man affects Jacqueline.
Learning that Guillaume had seen a man sneaking into Jacqueline`s bedroom, Fortunio dreams of being the protector of her affairs of the heart. This only provokes jeers from the other clerks, but Fortunio doesn`t care: he prefers his dreams to harsh reality. With the `chandelier` now in place, Clavaroche is able to cuckold Maître André with ease. At a dinner for four (the wife, husband, lover and the innocent admirer), Fortunio opens his heart in a song whose beauty and innocence eventually wins over Jacqueline, who takes him in her arms. A moment later, over-hearing the conversation between Clavaroche and Jacqueline, Fortunio understands the role he is playing.
Having learnt that Maître André has laid a trap for his wife`s lover, Clavaroche has pointed the finger of suspicion at Fortunio by sending the young man a note, supposedly from Jacqueline, inviting him to join her. To counter the threat, Jacqueline has sent her maid Madelon to warn the young man, but it is too late; Fortunio enters the lion`s den. However, Jacqueline tells him: he is not just loved, he is adored! As the footsteps of Maître André and Clavaroche approach, she hides the young man, but not in the same place as her military lover. So the jealous husband has to apologize for his unwarranted suspicions, and the captain finds no one hiding in the wardrobe; she sends both away. She hands the vexed Clavaroche a candlestick to light his way - innocence has triumphed.
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