In the dressing room of the Comédie-Française, Mademoiselle Jouvenot, Mademoiselle Dangeville, Monsieur Quinault, and Monsieur Poisson are putting on their costumes for this evening’s performance of Bajazet. In their hurry they call out orders to Michonnet, who supplies them with everything they need (‘Michonnet, della biacca!’). Exhausted from running around, Michonnet observes how much he has to do for these people. Between constantly worrying about their gossip, and dealing with all their extreme emotions, he feels more like their lackey than their manager (‘Michonnet, su! Michonnet, giu!’). After tossing around lines and compliments, the quartet are finally ready to start, but their approach to the stage is interrupted by the arrival of Il Principe de Bouillon (The Prince of Bouillon), and L’Abate de Chazeuil (The Abbot of Chazeuil).
Michonnet welcomes the Prince and the Abbot into the dressing room, and the actors present themselves and the characters they are playing
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