"Drum Major's Daughter" by Jacques Offenbach

La fille du tambour-major (The Drum-Major's Daughter) is an opéra comique, or operetta, in three acts by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was written by Alfred Duru and Henri Charles Chivot (who often wrote libretti for Charles Lecocq).


The patriotic plot, set during the Austrian occupation of Italy as Napoleon invades Lombardy in 1806, is similar in its military flavour to that of Donizetti's La fille du régiment.

Act 1: The convent of Biella in Northern Italy

A company of French soldiers, led by Lieutenant Robert, crosses the Alps to join the army of the first consul who commands the Italian troops. The French invade the convent - the nuns have fled, and the only remaining occupant is a young student at the convent school who was in penitence, Stella, daughter of the Duke della Volta.

Act 2: A room of the palace of the Duke della Volta in Novare

Stella falls in love with Robert, but her father has promised her hand to a feeble-minded old marquis, Bambini. However, Lieutenant Robert receives the news that Stella is the daughter, not of the duke, but of a French drum-major.

Act 3: The hotel 'The Gold Lion' in Milan; a square in Milan

The war is not over, but Stella searches for Lieutenant Robert. The Austrians seize Stella. However Napoleon's victory changes everything. The French troops arrive, and Milan greets the liberators and Stella can marry Lieutenant Robert.


  • Stella, putative daughter of the Della Voltas, (soprano)
  • Duc Della Volta, (tenor)
  • Duchesse Della Volta, (mezzo-soprano)
  • Robert, a lieutenant, (baritone)
  • Monthabor, a drum-major, (bass)
  • Griolet, a drummer, (tenor)
  • Claudine, regimental vivandière, (soprano)
  • Mother Superior, (soprano)
  • Marquis Bambini, (tenor)
  • Clampas, (baritone)
  • Francesca, (soprano)

Production History

Date Venue Company
Apr 14, 1890 Tivoli Opera
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