Il viaggio a Reims

General Information

GenreOpera . Dramma GiocosoLanguageItalianYear of the Premiere1825PrologueActs1


The owner of “Il Giglio d’Oro” hotel, Madama Cortese, urges her servants to prepare diligently the visit to Reims which her guests are about to undertake, that same evening, to go to the coronation of Charles X, the new king, which will take place – according to tradition – in that city. After Don Prudenzio, the hotel doctor, has closely examined the meals prepared for the guests, to make sure that they conform to his directions, and Madama Cortese has once again reminded her servants to maintain the reputation of the inn, the Countess of Folleville, a pretty Parisienne who is “mad about fashion”, mistress of the handsome French official, the Chevalier Belfiore, voices her concern because her clothes for the great celebration have not yet arrived. Don Luigino, the cousin of the Countess of Folleville, who is in charge of the arrangements, announces that the coach carrying the personal effects of the noble lady has overturned, damaging its precious cargo of boxes and cases. At this news, the Countess faints and all the other guests at the hotel crowd around her and try to revive her. The arrival of Modestina, the Countess’s maid, with a trunk which has been miraculously salvaged from the ruinous accident, revives the anguished gentlewoman, who is satisfied at having recovered a precious little hat to wear at the celebration. In the meantime, the Baron of Trombonok, a German official and music fanatic, elected treasurer for the voyage by the hotel guests, makes the final arrangements with the “hotel manager”Antonio, to take care of the baggage and to the eventual needs of the voyagers. Don Profondo, a learned member of various Academies and fanatical collector of antiques, and Don Alvaro, a Spanish Grandee, enter and present the beautiful Polish widow of an Italian general, the Marquise Melibea, with whom Don Alvaro has fallen in love, to the Baron of Trombonok. She wants to go to Reims together with the other illustrious members of the company. The arrival of the Count of Libenskof, a Russian gentleman, also in love with Melibea, makes Don Alvaro jealous, and their rivalry is openly expressed in the presence of Melibea and Madama Cortese until the singing of another guest at “Il Giglio d’Oro” hotel, Corinna, who comes from Rome and whose art is to improvise songs and poetry, is heard from behind the scenes and calms down the heated exchange of jealous rivalry. Madama Cortese is worried about the delay of Zefirino, the courier sent in search of horses for the journey. She is also thinking about the reciprocated but undeclared love of the English guest, Lord Sidney, for Corinna. Lord Sidney arrives, lamenting over his woes as a lover. Corinna, having received a letter by hand from Don Profondo, reads it and reassures Delia, her Greek orphan friend, about the fate of her country and invites her to join the company on its way to Reims. She finally notices the flowers arranged in her room: Lord Sidney’s daily love token. The Chevalier Belfiore, finding the poetess alone, tries to seduce her, convinced of his proven prowess, but Don Profondo interrupts him and makes fun of him. He begins to compile the list of valuable objects belonging to the voyagers which the Baron has asked him for. After a quick exchange of words between Don Profondo and the Countess of Folleville, who has intuited the courtship between the Chevalier Belfiore and Corinna, many of the guests become impatient to leave but the arrival of the Baron and Zefirino creates an atmosphere of gloom: the voyage cannot be undertaken because, in the whole of Plombières, there is not a single horse to be hired or bought because of the vast number of voyagers who are also going to Reims for the grand ceremony. Madama Cortese raises the spirits of the company by showing her guests a letter from Paris sent by her husband which announces the great festivities being prepared in the capital in honour of the king and to welcome his return: an extremely pleasurable way to console themselves for the unaccomplished voyage to Reims. The Countess of Folleville offers everyone hospitality at her home in Paris. The proposal is accepted which enthusiasm and they decide to leave the next day with the daily coach for the capital. With part of the money put aside for the voyage to Reims, they will organise that very evening a feast, open to all, to celebrate, in any case, the coronation of the king, and the rest will be given to charity. Everything is resolved and the Baron tries to settle the quarrel between the Count of Libenskof and the Polish Marquise, caused by Don Alvaro. The two lovers are reconciled ant the next scene opens on the illuminated gardens of the hotel in which a rich table has been laid. The “hotel manager” Antonio learns from Maddalena, the governess, that the Baron has engaged a company of roving musicians and dancers, passing through the area, to liven up the feast. They soon appear and, with their songs and dances, they commence the festivities. The Baron announces, in accordance with the rules already agreed, a series of toasts in the musical styles of the various countries of origin of the guests, in honour of the king and the royal family. At the end, everyone presents request for a poetic performance from Corinna as a fit ending to the feast. The guests therefore propose various themes for the poetess’s improvisation, mainly deriving from the history of France and out of which Melibea draws by lot that of «Charles X, King of France». After Corinna’s musical celebration and among general acclaim to the king and to France, the performance ends with the praising of the royal family.



A famous Roman poetess
La Marchesa MelibeaContralto

The Polish widow of an Italian general killed on their wedding night
Condesa de FollevilleSoprano

a fashionable young widow
Il Cavaliere BelfioreTenor

Handsome young French officer and spare-time painter
Il Conte di LibenskofTenor

Russian general in love with Marchesa Melibea
Il Barone di TrombonokBass

German major and music lover
Lord SydneyBass

English colonel secretly in love with Corinna
Don ProfondoBass

Scholar and lover of antiquities,friend of Corinna
Don AlvaroBass

Spanish admiral in love with Marchesa Melibea
Don PrudencioBass

Doctor at the spa
Don LuiginoBaritone

Cousin of the Contessa di Folleville

Young Greek girl who is Corinna's travelling companion

Hotel housekeeper from Normandy

Hotel housekeeper from Normandy



Maître d'hotel