Jacopo Foroni (1825−1858)

Advokaten Pathelin. Komisk operett i en akt [La Farce de maître Pathelin/The Farce of Master Pathelin. Comic operetta in one act]


No. 1 Trio (Guillemette, Bobinette, Pathelin)
No. 2 Duettino (Guillemette, Bobinette, Pathelin)
No. 3 Duet och Kupletter [Duet and Cuplés] (Charlot, Josseaume)
No. 4 Duet (Pathelin, Josseaume)
No. 5 Cuplés (Aignelet)
No. 6 Cuplés (Charlot)
No. 7 Aria (Guillemette, Josseaume)
No. 8 Terzetto (Guillemette, Pathelin, Josseaume)
No. 9 Chorus
Marcia [instrumental]
No. 10 Repetition of No. 9
No. 11 Duettino (Pathelin, Aignelet)
No. 12 Finale (Guillemette, Bobinette, Angélique, Aignelet,
Charlot, Pathelin, Josseaume, Jaquinard, Choir)

  • Year of composition: 1858
  • Work category: Operetta / Comic opera
  • Text author: The ”Maître Pathelin” (1836) by Adolphe de Leuven and Joseph Adolphe Ferdinand Langlé [pen name of Joseph Langlois] after the French farce ”L'Avocat Patelin” from 1706 by Jean de Palaprat and David Augustin de Bruyes, which, in turn, was based on the ”La Farce de Maître Pathelin”, printed in 1485 and which has been attributed to Guillaume Alexis as well as François Villon, but which according to more recent finds should be attributed to dramatist Triboulet (Nicolas Ferrial), employed as jester of French kings Louis XII (1462-1515) and Francis I (1494-1547).
    Translation by Eric Gustaf Kolthoff
  • First performed: Royal Theatre [the Gustavian Opera], Stockholm, on 4 December, 1858.
    Performers: Mr [Fritz] Arlberg (Pathelin), Mr [Carl Johan] Uddman (Josseaume), Mr [Victor] Dahlgren (Aignelet), Mr [Robert] Broman (Jacquinard), Mr [Harald] Torsslow the Younger (Charlot), Miss [Louise] Michal (Guillemette), Miss [Wilhelmina] Gelhaar (Angelique), Mrs [Charlotta] Strandberg (Bobinette), Mr [Carl Gustaf] Lundin (En stadstjänare) et al. Choir. Conductor: Ignaz Lachner [who succeded Foroni as Director of the Kungliga Hovkapellet, i.e., the orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera]
  • Arrangement/revision: Critical edition by Anders Wiklund
  • Duration: Approx. 40-50 min
  • Detailed duration: (The recording of Riksteatern's production of the play states 69')


2*.2.2.2 / 4.2**.3.0 / timp, perc, hp / str
(picc, 2 corn)
perc: cymb, bass dr, trgl

Solo voices/choir

Solo voices:
[Pierre] Pathelin, lawyer ([high] baritone)
Josseaume, clothier ([bass-] baritone)
Aignelet, shepherd (tenor)
Ja(c)quinard, judge (baritone)*/
Charlot, Josseaume’s nephew and ward (tenor)
Mrs Guillemette [Pathelin], Pathelin’s wife (coloratura soprano)
Angélique, his niece (soprano)**/
Bobinette, his maid (soprano [soubrette])
En stadstjenare [A clerk; spoken role]
En trumslagare [A drummer]
Notarier [Notaries]
Sekreterare [Secretaries]
Fyra soldater [Four soldiers]
En liten gosse [A small boy]
Stadsboer [City folk]
*/ only one sung solo line, otherwise a spoken role
**/ only one short solo interjection plus in unison with other roles and the choir, otherwise a spoken role

Choir (Notaries, Secretaries, Soldiers, City folk, Peasants)

2 sopranos (Mrs Guillemette [Pathelin], Angélique, Bobinette), 2 tenors (Aignelet, Charlot), 3 baritones (Pathelin, Josseaume, Ja(c)quinard) as well as spoken roles and choir

Choir: S.S.S.T.T.B.B.

Examples of printed editions

Swedish Musical Heritage, edition no. 1446

  • Location autograph: Musik- och teaterbiblioteket
  • Possible call no. and autograph comment: Kungliga Teaterns arkiv, KT Operetter A 26 [The Archive of the Royal Theatre, KT Operettas A 26]

Description of work

Overture: [Allegro] - Andante sostenuto - [Allegro] - Allegro vivace - [Allegro] A major - D major - A major - F major - A major 4/4 (C) - 2/4 - 4/4 (C)

The plot is set in a small (medieval) town in Normandy, France.

Master Pathelin is a local lawyer, who, by flattering the clothier Josseaume, tries to obtain cloth for his wife, which he is granted – on credit.

Pathelin promises that if Josseaumevisits him later the same day, he will be paid. However, he tells his wife to pretend that he has been sick for three months and when Josseaume comes to collect his money, Pathelin babbles like a madman and makes it impossible for the clothier to receive payment.

Josseaume then gets the idea that he should summon to court his shepherd Aignelet who has been stealing and eating his sheep for the past three years. The shepherd goes to Pathelin for legal representation and gets the advice to answer ”Baaa” like a sheep to all questions he will get in court so that the judge will dismiss Josseaume’s case on the grounds of the shepherd’s insanity.

At the trial Josseaumere cognizes Pathelin and confuses everything when trying to get a ruling in his favour in the case of the stolen cloth, but as the judge cannot make any sense of neither case, he dismisses them.

When Pathelin then tries to be paid by Aignelet, the shepherd only answers ”Baaa”. Pathelin realizes he has been fooled himself and goes home.

Work comment

Twenty-five bars at the end of the overture were composed by Joseph Dente in 1877.


No. 1 Trio:  Skynda, skynda dig ej så försynda (Guillemette, Bobinette, Pathelin)

No. 2 Duettino: Dyra make här skall sys en hake (Guillemette, Bobinette, Pathelin)

No. 3 Duet and Cuplés: Skynda, skynda, skynda dig nu att i boden, i boden städa (Charlot, Josseaume)

No. 4 Duet: Redbarheten sjelf är han (Pathelin, Josseaume)

No. 5 Cuplés: Gud bättre mig arme så illa det gått (Aignelet)

No. 6 Cuplés: no. 1. Ständigt jag er sköna bild bär uti mitt sinne
no. 2. När förtjuserska, ni går ut i aftonstunden (Charlot)

No. 7 Aria: Besöka honom stackars karl (Guillemette, Josseaume)

No. 8 Terzetto: Att jag är advokat skall ni få höra (Guillemette, Pathelin, Josseaume)

No. 9 Chorus: Domaren bland oss i dag (Bondfolk)

No. 10 Repetition of No. 9: Domaren bland oss i dag (Bondfolk)

No. 11 Duettino: Dig jag frälst ifrån all fara (Pathelin, Aignelet)

No. 12 Finale: O hvad fasa, hvilken nöd! (Guillemette, Bobinette, Angélique, Aignelet,
Charlot, Pathelin, Josseaume, Jaquinard, Choir)

Media files

Edition Swedish Musical Heritage