MUSICAL MANUSCRIPTS autographs of recitatives and additional music for Mignon (1866); 115pages in-fol. (ink stamps of the Heugel Archives).
Importantfile on the reworking of Mignon into an opera.
Mignon, a comic opera in 3 acts by Ambroise Thomas, on a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré based on GOETHE's Les Années d'apprentissage de Wilhelm Meister, was premiered in Paris, at the Opéra-Comique, on November 17, 1866, with Célestine Galli-Marié (Mignon), Marie Cabel (Philine), Léon Achard (Wilhelm), Charles Bataille (Lothario), and was immediately a great success, reaching the hundredth performance in less than a year, and quickly played all over Europe : Antwerp and Brussels in 1867, Geneva, Weimar and Vienna in 1868, and London on 5 July 1870 in Covent Garden, with Christine Nilsson in the title role.
It is, it
seems, for these London performances, given in Italian, that Ambroise Thomas transformed his comic opera into an opera, suppressing spoken texts and dialogues with recitatives, composing dance music and additional arias; and it is in this form with recitatives that Mignon
is generally given today.
The young Mignon is a foundling, abused by gypsies, from whom she is redeemed by the rich young Wilhelm Meister, lover of the actress Philine. He takes her with him, dressing her up as a page. Mignon becomes attached to his saviour and soon becomes jealous of Philine; she pushes the old Lothario, a crazy travelling singer, to set fire to the castle where Wilhelm and Philine are staying for a party. Wilhelm saves Mignon from the fl