Mignon is an opera in three acts by Ambroise Thomas to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on Goethe's story Wilhelm Meister's Lehrjahre. The first performance was at the Opéra Comique, Paris, in 1866.
In the courtyard of an inn in a small German town, the wandering minstrel Lothario sings and the gypsies dance while the townspeople watch and drink. Jarno threatens Mignon with a stick when she refuses to dance, but Lothario and Wilhelm Meister come to her aid. She thanks them and divides her bouquet of wild flowers between them. Wilhelm and Laerte have a drink together. Philine and Laerte leave, after he gives her his flowers from Mignon. Mignon tells Wilhelm she was captured by gypsies as a child. Wilhelm decides to purchase Mignon’s freedom. Lothario comes to say goodbye to Mignon. Lothario wants Mignon to travel with him, but she stays with Wilhelm. Frédéric lovingly follows Philine in, but she also wants Wilhelm. The acting troupe is about to set off for a baron's castle after receiving an invitation to perform there. Mignon is deeply in love with Wilhelm, but upset to see the flowers that she gave him in the hands of Philine.
In Philine’s room in the baron's castle, Philine is elated, living in the luxury and charming the baron. Laerte is heard outside, praising Philine. Wilhelm and Mignon enter. She pretends to sleep while Wilhelm and Philine sing. When the couple leave, Mignon tries on Philine’s costumes and make-up. She is jealous and exits. Frédéric enters. When Wilhelm returns for Mignon he is confronted by Frédéric. Mignon rushes in to break up their impending fight. Wilhelm decides that he cannot stay with Mignon and says goodbye to her. He leaves arm-in-arm with a jubilant Philine. Later, in the courtyard of the castle, Mignon is consumed by a jealous rage, when she hears Lothario playing the harp. He comforts the girl. Philine's portrayal of Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream is applauded in the conservatory. Mignon, in jealously, shouts that she wishes the building would catch fire and runs out. Lothario hears her and moves toward the conservatory. After Mignon returns, Wilhelm receives her so warmly that Philine, now jealous, sends her to fetch the wild flowers in the conservatory. Wilhelm rushes to save Mignon from the fire that Lothario had set to please her, carring her unconscious body out of the conservatory with the singed flowers still in her hand.
Wilhelm has brought Mignon and Lothario to a castle in Italy which he considers buying. There an old man watches over Mignon and prays for her recovery. Antonio relates how the castle’s previous owner had gone mad after his wife had died of grief over the loss of their young daughter. Wilhelm decides to buy the castle for Mignon because it has so speeded her recovery. Mignon awakens and confesses to Wilhelm of her love for this strangely familiar place. He finally realizes that he loves her deeply and resists Philine’s attempts to win him back. Lothario re-enters and informs the couple that he is the owner of the castle and that returning here has restored his sanity. After reading a prayer found in a book in the house, Mignon realizes the she is his daughter Sperata. The three embrace happily.
Mignon is also the name of a PCTC (Pure Car and Truck Carrier) in the Wallenius Wilhelmsen fleet. Measuring 228 meters and with a capacity of over 7100 cars she is one of the largest car carriers in the world. All Wallenius ships are named after operas.