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Mirette (opera)

Mirette is an opéra comique in three acts composed by André Messager, first produced at the Savoy Theatre, London, on 3 July 1894.

Mirette exists in two distinct versions. The first version of the libretto was written in French by Michel Carré but this was never performed. English lyrics were written by Frederic E. Weatherly, and English dialogue based on the Carré libretto was written by Harry Greenbank. This first English version of the opera ran for only 41 performances, closing on 11 August 1894. This was the shortest run of any opera produced at the Savoy Theatre under the management of Richard D'Oyly Carte. The second version, advertised as a "new version with new lyrics by Adrian Ross," ran strongly for 61 performances, from 6 October 1894 to 6 December 1894 but was withdrawn because a new opera by Arthur Sullivan, The Chieftain, was ready to open.

Both versions essentially tell the same story, with the second version emphasizing comedy over the romance of the first version. The music has been mostly forgotten. However, one song ("Long ago in Alcala") became very popular in the United States in the early years of the twentieth century, though it was not credited as being from Mirette. The piece featured Savoy regulars Courtice Pounds (Picorin), Rosina Brandram (Marquise), Scott Russell (Bertuccio), Emmie Owen (Zerbinette), Florence Perry (Bianca), R. Scott Fishe (Gerard de Montigny), and Walter Passmore (Bobinet). Richard Temple joined in the revised version, as did the experienced singer Florence St. John, who made her Savoy debut in the work.


Mirette can refer to:

  • A 19th century comic opera, Mirette (opera);
  • A children's book called Mirette on the High Wire; and
  • A musical by Harvey Schmidt, Mirette (musical), based on the children's book.