Vert-Vert (Martin Duncan, Garsington Opera)

In the garden of a girls’ boarding school we find Mimi, Bathilde and Emma together with Valentin, the nephew of the headmistress Mlle Paturel, plus the gardener Binet. They are all assembled to bury the parrot Vert-Vert, darling and mascot of the school, who has died from constipation. From this moment on, Valentin will bear the nickname Vert-Vert and be spoiled by the pupils, just as the parrot was.

Two weeks earlier Bathilde and Emma had secretly married two noble dragoons and, during an excursion to Nevers, Valentin finds the two men in a bar. They are courting the theatre singer Mme Corilla and Valentin, who is a gifted singer, is also taken in by Mme Corilla. She does this all the more willingly as he is prepared to take the part of her ill partner in the opera she is performing.

Mimi, who, dressed as a man, has followed Valentin to Nevers, observes in desperation the flirtation during the increasingly hilarious feast. As in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, the emotional confusion reaches its turbulent climax in the night-time case of mistaken identity in the third act.

A happy ending is guaranteed!

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