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The Postilion of Lonjumeau

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The Postilion of Lonjumeau

by Adolphe DeLeuven

Genre: Comedy, Operetta
Format of Original Source: Plot summary
Recommended Adaptation Length: 90 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


The opening scene of the first act introduces us to the wedding of Chapelou, the postilion, and Madeleine, mistress of the inn. During the merriment which follows, the Marquis de Courcy, Superintendent of the Paris Grand Opera, whose carriage has broken down, makes his appearance, seeking the aid of a wheelwright. He hears Chapelou singing, and is so pleased with his voice that he offers him a position in the opera. Chapelou after some persuasion accepts, entreats Bijou, the village blacksmith, to look after Madeleine, and goes off with the Marquis in quest of artistic glory. Bijou informs Madeleine of Chapelou’s baseness, and the act closes with her denunciations of him, in which she is enthusiastically assisted by the female members of the wedding-party.


Plot is silly and light, and about rather antiquated things and people, so if you’re looking for something relevant to a contemporary audience, this plot won’t do for you.  But if you’re looking for a charming, light old-fashioned plot, the structure itself is solid enough and should present you with some straightforward classic situations for characters to sing about.  The opera setting is also fairly useful due its opportunities for diagetic songs as well.


A word of caution: This plot summary was written by 19th-century literary critic George Upton, who often mixes personal opinion with summation. You would be advised to consult the original source material, if the general plot appeals to you.


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