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The Anonymous Lover The Anonymous Lover

Composed by Joseph Bologne

Conducted by James Conlon

November 14, 2020

West Coast premiere of complete opera

He's been hanging on to this secret for years.

LA Opera proudly presents the company premiere of 
The Anonymous Lover (L'amant anonyme), a charming 1780 chamber opera by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. 

The comic romance tells the story of Léontine, a beautiful young widow who has become disillusioned with love. Much to her surprise, she receives a steady stream of letters and gifts from an unknown man professing his undying passion. This amuses her friend Valcour, who also professes to have no interest in affairs of the heartBut now, after hiding his true feelings for years, Valcour works up the courage to reveal that he himself is the devoted secret admirer. Will his confession sway a heart sworn to resist all affection? 

Conducted by James Conlon and directed by Bruce Lemon, Jr., in a socially distanced stage setting, the performance will be streamed online to reach a wide audience, while the opera is performed live at the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall on November 14, 2020.

"Sparkling originality...astonishing musical and dramatic complexity...razor-sharp comic precision"

Callum John BlackmoreParterre Box


Tiffany Townsend
Robert Stahley
Gabriela Flores
Michael J. Hawk
Alaysha Fox
Jacob Ingbar

Creative Team

James Conlon
Bruce Lemon, Jr.
Ariane Helou
Pablo Santiago
Misty Ayres


Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Madame de Genlis (Stéphanie-Félicité)

Read the synopsis

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Léontine and Valcour, the Vicomte de Clémengis, have known each other for years. When she was 15, her parents wanted to arrange a marriage between them, but Valcour gently declined the match, believing that she was too young at the time 

She subsequently married a man whose passion did not equal hers. The disappointing marriage lasted only two years, however, leaving Léontine a beautiful young widow with no intention of ever falling in love again. She lives a quiet life of self-imposed solitude on her country estate, far from Paris. Through it all, Valcour remains a trusted family friend and confidant. Léontine considers him a kindred spirit: like her, he swears that he has no interest in pursuing matters of the heart.

But secretly, Valcour knows that he missed his great opportunity for happiness, for he has been hopelessly in love with Léontine for a decade. He concocts a plan to court her anonymously, sending her a steady stream of gifts, flowers and letters. Two co-conspirators assist him in his scheme: Ophémon, a scholar on Léontine's estate, and her close friend, Dorothée.

After eight months of anonymous courtship, Valcour finally feels ready to reveal the truth. For her part, Léontine has no idea who her secret admirer might be.

Léontine is hosting the wedding of two young villagers, Jeannette and Colin, on her estate, and Valcour sees the wedding as the perfect romantic background for his revelation. He sends her a bouquet of flowers along with one last anonymous letter. In it, he expresses his hope to see her holding the flowers at the wedding; if she does so, the “Anonymous Lover” will finally reveal his true identity 

His fate is now entirely in Léontine’s hands. What will she do? And how will she respond to the revelation?  

Performed in French with English subtitles

Running time: approximately one hour, performed without intermission

By arrangement with Opera Ritrovata, publisher and copyright owner; engraving and editing by George N. Gianopoulos, Stephen Karr, Leila Núñez-Fredell, and Mishkar Núñez-Fredell.

Artwork for The Anonymous Lover
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