Opera Scotland

Chalet Le chalet; The Swiss Cottage

Music

Adolphe Adam (born Paris, 24 July 1803; died Paris, 3 May 1856).

Text

Eugène Scribe and Anne-Honoré-Joseph Mélesville.

Source

Singspiel Jery und Bätely (1780) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).

 

Premieres

First Performance: Paris (Opéra-Comique), 25 September 1834.

First Performance in UK: London (Covent Garden), 6 June 1845.

First Performance in Scotland: tbc.

 

Background

Le Chalet was Adam's first great success in opera composition in 1834. It remained popular for the rest of the century, at least in France. The plot was also used by Donizetti a couple of years later, and his piece, Betly, also unjustly neglected, is a charming work, generally seen to outclass the Adam, though in Britain it was the earlier work that succeeded initially.

 

Characters

Bettly, a village girl (soprano)

Max, her brother, a corporal (tenor)

Daniel, a villager in love with Bettly (tenor)

 

Plot Summary

The setting is a village in the Swiss mountains. Bettly is a young woman of independent means, and who values that independence. Daniel loves her, but is generally ignored, though his fellow-villagers trick him (by means of a fake letter) into believing she returns his affection. Her brother Max has been away for some time on army service, and arrives back home with a squad of soldiers in tow. Bettly is unaware of his identity, and he decides to help Daniel by billeting the troops at Bettly's chalet. As Daniel attempts to protect her from the ensuing chaos, she recognises the benefit of having a man about the house, and the revelation of Max's identity allows a happy ending to take place.

The Cast

Bettly
 a village girl
Daniele
 a villager, in love with Bettly
Max
 Bettly's brother, an army corporal

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