François-Xavier Roth and Guillaume Vincent invite us to rediscover an unknown masterpiece of French opera : Le Timbre d’Argent by Camille Saint-Saëns. Performances for the fifth edition of Palazzetto Bru Zane’s Paris festival from Friday, June 9th to Monday, June 19th 2017 at the Opéra Comique.

« There is everything in this artwork, from symphony to operetta, from operatic drama to ballet » Saint-Saëns

On a Christmas night, Conrad, an obscure Viennese painter, rebels against misery. Unlucky in love and society, he cannot take it any longer. During a deep crisis of despair, his physician appears to him in the disguise of a devil. The latter offers him a magical object, his silver bell, each ringing of which will make him rich in abundance, while causing the death of an innocent. Upon waking, betwiched Conrad strikes the bell : gold flows but a dead man has already collapsed on his doorstep.

Devised by the librettists of Faust and Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Le Timbre d’Argent  is one of the most important work of the composer Camille Saint-Saëns. Despite its success, Le Timbre d’Argent sank into oblivion because of politic and social events in the end of 19th century -wars, intability of theaters. Forty years after the first performance in 1877, the composer writes “this artwork appeared like a revolutionary and prodigiously advanced work”.

Les Siècles orchestra – Accentus choir
François-Xavier Roth music direction
Guillaume Vincent staging 

Conrad Edgaras Montvidas
Hélène Hélène Guilmette
Spiridion Tassis Christoyannis
Benedict Yu Shao
Rosa Jodie Devos
Circée Raphaëlle Delaunay

Concert recorded by France Musique, diffusion on Sunday, July 2nd 2017, 8 pm.
Recorded for “Opéra Français” Palazetto Bru Zane collection.
Libretto available on

A production


Friday, June 9th 2017, 8 pm
Paris, Opéra Comique

Sunday, June 11th 2017, 3 pm
Paris, Opéra Comique

Tuesday, June 13th 2017, 8 pm
Paris, Opéra Comique

Thursday, June 15th 2017, 8 pm
Paris, Opéra Comique

Saturday, June 17th, 8 pm
Paris, Opéra Comique

Monday, June 19th, 8 pm
Paris, Opéra Comique