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Un mari dans la serrure (Péricaud & Villemer / Wachs)




Operetta in one act first performed at the Eldorado in 1876.


1859, Jacques Offenbach had left to one side Un mari à la porte; 17 years later, Louis Péricaud and Villemer propose to Frédéric Wachs a translation of the husband dans la serrure. Apart from sharing a part of their title, these two one act operettas have a number of common characteristics: both taking place in a Parisian apartment, they bring to the stage a scandalous situation, that of a young man having unexpectedly entered the home of a young woman and then being unable to get out.  After the bourgeois gallantries proposed by Offenbach, the operetta by Wachs nonetheless ventures into more absurd territory, both in the initial placing of the action and in the treatment of the relation between its two protagonists (Bigorneau and Thérézina). Having entered by mistake the home of her  neighbour on the floor below, and being sufficiently clumsy as to lock himself in and then throw the key out of the window, Bigorneau, catches sight of Thérézina in the middle of stabbing a man. He would only later on understand that it was a dummy, and that the young actress was rehearsing a scene from a play. In the meantime, persuaded that he was faced with a killer, he remained alert, but was all the same not indifferent to her charms. The surrealism of the title echoes the host of quirky details which the authors scattered throughout the piece, projecting us into a world of subterfuge: from the woman from the floor below to the love letters, nothing is really what it seems to be. Still difficult to evaluate, the success of this operetta seems however to be confirmed by the future developments that the librettists gave to it during the course of the following two years in concert in the XIX century: Un mari à l’essai (music by Bernicat) and Un mari en grande vitesse (music by Delormel).

    Work - 1
  • Un mari à la porte (Delacour & Morand / Offenbach)
  • Persons - 3
  • PÉRICAUD, Louis (1835-1909)
  • VILLEMER, Gaston (1847-1892)
  • WACHS, Frédéric (1824-1896)
  • Theme - 1
  • Lieux de musique – Eldorado