The Musset play was published in the Revue des deux Mondes in 1834 and first performed at the Comédie-Française, Paris in 1866 where it was seen 30 times. Two “new” works were scheduled for the Salle Favart (Opéra-Comique) in 1872 as it regained momentum after the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune; Fantasio by Offenbach and les Noces de Figaro, Mozart’s opera after Beaumarchais, which entered the Opéra Comique repertoire that February. The choice of Fantasio as an operatic subject was considered a bold one, as Alfred de Musset‘s comedy had not seen great success at the Comédie-Française as a play. Rehearsals for the opera had begun in early 1870, but the Franco-Prussian War and the aftermath of defeat had delayed production for two years. At first the distribution was intended to be Capoul as a tenor Fantasio, Couderc as the Prince, Potel as Marinoni, Gailhard as Spark, Mlle Dalti as Elsbeth and Moisset as the page. However, at the premiere, two years on, only Moisset and Potel remained in their roles; Galli-Marié took over the title role, now a mezzo-soprano, Ismaël took over as the Prince, Melchissédec Marinoni, and Marguérite Priola Elsbeth.
- Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN