The student Fantasio dreams of changing his life. The court jester has just died. And if he took his place? But no one loved the dead jester more than princess Elsbeth, betrothed by her father to the prince of Mantua in a political union. The young jester will convince the princess to obey her heart. How far will she let herself be seduced?
Offenbach owed Musset one of his first successes, La Chanson de Fortunio. A Fantasio reworked by the poet's brother could make him dream with its Romantic colors. But the 1872 premiere followed the defeat of Sedan and the public rejected Offenbach's claim to do something other than operetta. The score to Fantasio was recycled in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and eventually partly disappeared in the fire that destroyed the Opéra Comique.
Reconstructed in 2013, it is now entrusted to Laurent Campellone and Thomas Jolly, whose dramaturgic work was made public on its inception in 2015, along with the "Chroniques de Fantasio", which can still be seen on the Opéra Comique website.
The Opéra Comique will first perform Fantasio at the Théâtre du Châtelet, later to be closed owing to renovation work. Like scaffolding, the spirit of collaboration maintains the youthfulness of institutions. In the late nineteenth century the Opéra Comique itself settled on this very Place du Châtelet during eleven years owing to works.
Running time : 2 hours 45, including intermission