Le Médecin malgré lui de Molière
The year before his Faust premiered in 1859, Charles Gounod’s excellent adaptation of Molière’s comedy The Mock Doctor opened at Paris’ Théâtre-Lyrique. Berlioz thought Gounod’s third opera “an excellent piece on all accounts” but it is seldom performed. This opera comique cleverly combines the play’s slapstick humour with some very alluring music that announces greater things to come in Gounod’s career. The work alternates spoken dialogue and musical numbers to recount the antics of Sganarelle, a woodcutter who takes mischievous pleasure in passing himself off as a physician. With its hilarious characters and situations, Gounod’s charming score is a pearl of the French opera repertoire that the Grand Théâtre is proud to offer its audiences in the very walls that have seen Molière performed in their previous incarnation as the temporary theatre of the Comédie-Française.