Les deux avares

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Les deux avares ("The Two Misers"), is an opéra bouffon in two acts written by André Grétry at age 27 in 1770 to a French libretto by Fenouillot de Falbaire and German version by Herbert Trantow.

Performance history[edit]

It was first performed at Fontainebleau on 27 October 1770.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, October 27, 1770
(Conductor: - )
Henriette, Gripon’s niece soprano
Madelon, Gripon’s housekeeper mezzo-soprano
Gripon, a dodgy banker tenor
Martin, speculator baritone
Jérôme, Martin’s clerk tenor
Ali, Captain of the Janissaries bass
Mustapha tenor
Osman, second commander Non-singing role
A messenger Non-singing role
The Janissaries


Place: A public square in Smyrna
Time: 18th century

Martin, a speculator, and Gripon, a dodgy banker, are two greedy villains who collaborate to find treasure in the pyramid in Smyrna. When Martin tells Gripon that there are no treasures in the pyramid, he doesn’t believe him and thinks Martin tried to cheat him. He leaves Martin locked in the pyramid. Jérôme and Henriette fall in love with each other but the only way out for their love is to escape from both Martin and Gripon. However, they are delayed by various misfortunes. Gripon later finds out that he has been cheated and it is he of all people who conclude that there is no honesty in the world any more.