Louise is an opera in four acts by Gustave Charpentier to an original French libretto by the composer, with some contributions by Saint-Pol-Roux, a symbolist poet and inspiration of the surrealists.
The opera depicts Parisian working-class life. However the city itself is in many ways the true star of this very atmospheric work - invoked at various points during the opera. A French example of verismo opera, it tells the story of the love between Louise, a seamstress living with her parents in Paris, and Julien, a young artist. It is the story of a young girl's desire for freedom (associated in her mind with her lover and the city of Paris).
Charpentier later wrote a sequel to Louise, the opera Julien, which describes the artistic aspirations of Louise’s suitor. This 1976 recording stars Ileana Cotrubas and Placido Domingo. Georges Pretre conducts.