Bosom stirring

Chabrier’s one act opera Une Éducation Manquée has possibly the most implausible plot in all of opera.  It concerns a young aristocratic French couple on their wedding night.  The whole plot turns on them having no idea what they are supposed to do.  Not only are they French but they rejoice in the names of Gontran de Boismassif and Hélène de la Cerisaie.  Titter ye not!  Fortunately it only takes them 47 minutes to figure things out because a Wagner work on this theme would be quite intolerable.  I’m not sure why anybody would bother with this piece of fluff but it made it onto DVD in a performance recorded in Compiègne in 1994.  It’s probably the most amusing thing out of there since someone faked up a video of Hitler dancing in front of a train carriage.  Which isn’t saying a lot.

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