Valcour knows that he could never directly tell Leontine how he feels about her. After her husband died, leaving her independently wealthy, she swore never to entertain another relationship. This fact does not stop him from trying however, and for the past four years he has also played the role of an anonymous lover, sending her gifts and letters, but never revealing his identity. In fact, he has treated the whole situation with such an austere detachment, that Leontine could never suspect him.
However, playing this dual identity puts a great weight on Valcour, and he really feels that he can no longer love Leontine in secret. He creates a plan to reveal that he was the anonymous lover all along, and enlists the help of Ophemon, Leontine’s tutor, and two of her friends from the village, Jeannette and Colin, who are about to get married. Whether Leontine returns his affection or not, at least he will have an answer, and will no longer bear the weight of hiding.
L’Amant Anonyme is a beautiful romantic comedy from the classical period of opera, with musical numbers interspersed with dialogue based on Stéphanie Félicité de Genlis’s play Madame de Genlis. Despite being relatively unknown, and underperformed, it deserves to take its place in the operatic canon, as the only complete opera from Joseph Bolognue, Chevalier de Saint George that is known to have survived.
L'Amant Anonyme guide sections