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Le Roi l’a Dit (When the King speaks...)

Operetta in 3 Acts. (1873)
Libretto by Edmond Gondinet.
New English Version by George Hauger.

The Marquis de Montoncour wishes to be presented at the court of Louis XIV, and his wife persuades two court bankers to arrange it in return for marriage with two of the Marquis’s daughters. Unfortunately the daughters are in love with two different gentlemen. The Marquis’s presentation does not go well. He tells the King he has four daughters, and the King assumes he also has a son. When the King speaks no one dares contradict him, so the Marquis now has to find a son quickly, as the King wants to meet him. Benoit, a local peasant lad, is hastily groomed for the role, and he assumes the part so well that he rapidly takes control of the family’s affairs, to the consternation of the Marquis and his wife. Benoit agrees to help his “sisters” marry the men of their choice, and gets rid of the two bankers by striking up quarrels with them and pretending to be killed in the ensuing duels. Both men, thinking they have killed someone in close favour with the King, leave hastily. The King sends the Marquis his condolences on hearing of the death of his son. Again, no one dares contradict him, and indeed, the Marquis and his wife are relieved that they no longer have to keep up the pretence, and are glad to be rid of their unwanted “son”. Benoit, for his part, is now free to marry Javotte, the servant girl he loves, so everything ends happily.

The Marquis (baritone)
Benoit (tenor)
Miton (tenor)

The Marquise (mezzo-soprano)
Javotte (soprano)

Agatha (soprano)
Chimene (soprano)
Philomel (soprano)
Angelique (soprano)

Pacome (tenor)
de Merlussac (bass)

Gautrau (bass)

Flarembel (soprano)} travesty
la Bluette (mezzo) } roles

Servants, courtiers, tradespeople, etc. (SSATTBB) 25%

A salon in the Marquis de Moncontour’s chateau during the reign of Louis XIV

2 flutes (1 picc), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons,
4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones,
timps, percussion,




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