Home / Works / Amour masqué, L' (Guitry / Messager)

Print content of page

Amour masqué, L' (Guitry / Messager)




Comédie musicale in three acts premiered at the Théâtre Édouard VII (Paris) on 15 February 1923.


When the English composer Yvan Carryl died accidentally, Sacha Guitry asked his friend Messager to take over an operetta project for which he penned the libretto. Guitry intended the work for his wife, Yvonne Printemps, and the leading roles are tailor-made for the couple. “She” is twenty years old and benefits from the largesse of a Baron and a Maharajah when she falls in love with a young stranger whose portrait she stole from a photographer. “He” is no longer twenty years old and claims that the young man in the photograph will come that night to the masked ball she is organizing. Against a backdrop of Marivaudage and misunderstandings peculiar to the genre, Guitry wrote sparkling dialogues in free verse, where puns intertwine with tasty quips. Messager undertook the composition in Royan, in 1922. His score is all the more accomplished as it uses limited musical means, adapted to the vocal technique of Yvonne Printemps and Sacha Guitry, the creators of the main protagonists. This aesthetic quality of simplicity and refinement, typical of 1920s operetta, favours natural melody and clear harmony without reducing the musical interest. The exotic pages of the Maharajah’s Burmese song and the Baron’s tango, as well as the fine sentiment of the games of seduction, contribute to the typically Parisian worldly character of the work. Most famous of all, the aria “J’ai deux amants” is an early feminist credo, still very much appreciated by singers today. Premiered two months before Reynaldo Hahn’s Ciboulette, L’Amour masqué was part of the revival of inter-war operetta.

    Persons - 2
  • GUITRY, Sacha (1885-1957)
  • MESSAGER, André (1853-1929)
  • Theme - 1
  • Genre – Chanson et opérette sous la Troisième République