J'aime Bien Mes Dindons

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  • Edmond Audran (1840-1901) was a church organist in the French city of Marseilles who also wrote comic operas. In 1880 he penned a popular comic operetta with a central figure, Bettina. She was a country girl who looked after her master's turkeys and her extraordinary good fortune could not be due to mere chance but must have been caused by some supernatural agent. Looking for an appropriate figure and name for the opera, Audran picked the Provencal slang word 'La Mascotte.' used by gamblers to mean talisman or charm.
  • La Mascotte premiered on December 29, 1880 and was so popular that it was translated into English as The Mascot, introducing into the English language a word for any animal, person, or object that brings good luck. (Source of above two The Encyclopedia of Trivia)
  • This Act 1 duet between Bettina and the shepherd Pippo is the most popular tune in the opera. During the song the two farmhands start flirting with each other. Pippo tells Bettina he loves her even better than his sheep. She replies "J'aime bien mes dindons" ("I love my turkeys much"), but adds she loves him more than her beloved turkeys.
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