Synopsis: La Fille Mal Gard?e (The Wayward Daughter)

June 3, 2006

Premiered on July 1, 1789 at the Grand Theatre in Bordeaux, France.
Sir Frederick Ashton’s version premiered on January 28, 1960 at the Royal Opera House in London.

Act I
At the Farm

As dawn breaks, the rooster crows and the hens gather to start the new day. Lise, a young girl, is in love with Colas. But her mother Simone, the owner of the farm, has other plans.

Simone gives her daughter the task of churning butter. When Simone finally leaves, Colas arrives to help Lise with her work during which they declare their love for each other.

Later, Thomas, the wealthy owner of a vineyard, enters with his son Alain to ask for Lise’s hand in marriage. Lise finds the geeky Alain somewhat entertaining, but is otherwise not interested.

After working in the fields, the farm workers enjoy some free time by dancing. Colas dances with Lise and Simone joins in with some clogging. But a storm rolls in and everyone scatters.

Act II

Lise and Simone rush back to the farmhouse to escape the rain. Simone locks Lise in the house to keep her out of trouble. Just as they begin to work, Simone falls asleep.

Colas appears at the locked farmhouse door. He leans in to embrace the joyful Lise.

Simone is awakened by the workers returning from the fields. She leaves for a moment. Lise, thinking she is alone, imagines that she is married to Colas. To her embarrassment, Colas comes out from his hiding place.

As Simone returns, Lise quickly hides Colas in her bedroom. Simone, unaware of the presence of Colas in the house, instructs Lise to go to that same bedroom to change into her wedding dress. Simone locks the door behind her.

Alain and Thomas arrive with a notary to finalize the marriage contract. Once it is singed, Simone gives Alain the key to the bedroom. He opens the door.

When Colas and Lise emerge, Thomas rips up the contract. The couple asks Simone for her blessing. Simone finally gives in and all rejoice.

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