One-act operetta, with music by Emmanuel Chabrier and libretto by Eugene Leterrier and Albert Vanloo. The plot revolves around two newly-weds who, in spite of their extensive education, face their wedding night with all the candour and naiveté of innocence.
This operetta first opened in Paris in 1879, and the composer himself played the piano. It was greatly admired by Ravel, Hahn and Messager, among others.
Having just returned from their wedding, the young Count Gontran and his wife Elena are waiting for advice about their wedding night.
Elena has just come out of the convent and Contran has been under the wing of his tutor, Maese Pausanias, who has instructed him in all matters except love and marriage.
In desperation, he sends for his tutor to ask for advice about their wedding night. Gontran complains and recriminates his tutor for not giving him a complete education. But Pausanias defends himself, insisting that he has taught him everything, languages, philosophy, mathematics… Finally, Pausanias admits that he is unable to respond because he has always been too busy and this subject was not included on his study programme.
The tutor leaves to ask a colleague for information.
Gontran, alone once more, curses his tutor and, as a storm brews, he confesses his frustration.
Elena rushes in wearing a light nightgown and explains that she is afraid of the storm. Gontran, surprised by her beauty and how attractive she looks in this garment, tells her the best way not to be afraid is for the two of them to hold hands. As they get closer and closer together, they eventually kiss and find the answers to their questions. The two young newly-weds are interrupted by Pausanias who is returning, too late, with the answer he was asked for. Contran orders him to leave as he is no longer required.