Alfred Duru

Alfred Duru
Alfred Duru.jpeg
Alfred Duru by Lhéritier
Born27 November 1829
Died28 December 1889(1889-12-28) (aged 60)
Spouse(s)Clémence Constance Bernage

Alfred Duru (27 November 1829 – 28 December 1889[1]) was a 19th-century French playwright and operetta librettist who collaborated on more than 40 librettos for the leading French composers of operetta:[2] Hervé, Offenbach, Lecocq and Audran.


His father was Jacques Denis Duru (Charonne, 1784 – Paris, 18 September 1863) and his mother Avoye Eugénie Leterrier (Villiers-le-Bel, 10 May 1790 – Paris, 26 January 1871), married in Paris on 29 July 1824. As a boy he was a classmate of his principal future literary collaborator, Henri Chivot.[3]

Duru was working as an engraver when in 1857, in collaboration with his friend from the same quartier, Henri Chivot, they wrote “L'Histoire d'un gilet”, a three-act drame-vaudeville.[4] The piece played at the Folies-Dramatiques of the Boulevard du Temple, and on 14 November 1857 inaugurated the new theatre on the Rue de Bondy. From this time onwards, Duru worked continuously in the theatre, usually in collaboration with Chivot.[5]

He produced almost a hundred comédie en vaudevilles, comedies and operetta libretti, which played successfully on the stages of Paris.[4] Chivot and Duru were known for the ingenuity of their subjects, fantasy of the episodes, pure comic situations and gaiety of the dialogues.[6]

In December 1889 he caught the flu, during the 1889–90 flu pandemic and at first seemed to be recovering, but died after a relapse.[7]

He died before he could see his final collaboration with Chivot Le Voyage de Suzette, which opened at the Théâtre de la Gaîté on 20 January 1890.[8] At his interment at Père Lachaise Cemetery on 31 December 1889, a speech was given on his grave by Armand d'Artois on behalf of the Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques.[6]


In collaboration with Chivot
In collaboration with Labiche


  1. ^ Acte n° 2968, registre des décès de 1889 pour le 17e arrondissement, on the Archives numérisées de la Ville de Paris website.
  2. ^ Alfred Duru. In: The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London & New York, 1997.
  3. ^ Journal des Débats Politiques et Littéraires, 31 December 1889 – Nécrologie.
  4. ^ a b Paris-capital : journal financier. 8 January 1890, p2.
  5. ^ Pierre Larousse. Grand Dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle, 1er supplément, 1878.
  6. ^ a b Annuaire de la Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques. Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques (France). Commission des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques, Paris, 1890, p161-2.
  7. ^ Le Matin : 27 December 1889, No. 2501, page 4.
  8. ^ Noel E & Stoullig E. Les Annales du Théâtre et de la Musique, 16eme ion, 1890. G Charpentier et Cie, Paris, 1891, p263.

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