Title: Les Cloches de Corneville (Bells of Cornville), Compiled By: Arthur Grenville, Published By: Joseph Williams, Location: London, Year: 1877
Les cloches de Corneville (known in English as The Chimes of Normandy or The Bells of Corneville) is an opera-comique in three acts, composed by Robert Planquette to a French libretto by Louis Clairville and Charles Gabet based on a play by Gabet.
In 1876, the director of the Théâtre des Folies-Dramatiques, Louis Cantin, hired Planquette to compose the operetta, which had originally been intended for Hervé. Despite initially mixed reviews (the storyline was criticized for its similarity to La dame blanche and Martha), it became probably the most popular French operetta of all time, with hit productions in London and elsewhere. Les cloches de Corneville was Planquette’s first full operetta score and has been praised for its fine melodies, rhythmic variety, good choral writing and complex orchestral color (although Planquette may not have done the orchestration himself).