A Seattle Opera Premiere!
Aug. 6, 7, 10, 13, 17, 19, & 20, 2016
FARCE. In this madcap comedy from the composer of The Barber of Seville, a notorious skirt-chaser and his merry-making minions scheme their way into a medieval French castle by means of outrageous disguises and narrow escapes. An all-new “Pythonesque” production promises plenty of whimsy and vivid color to start the season with a bang.
In French with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes, with 1 intermission
Evenings at 7:30 PM. Sunday matinee at 2:00 PM.
The mice will play while the cat’s away, and in a small medieval French village whose men are all off fighting the Crusades, the ladies are easy prey for that notorious local bad boy, Count Ory. Hoping to encourage relaxed morals, Ory passes himself off as a guru who has come to town to help ease lonely women’s heartaches and dispense wise counsel on all questions of love. The women eagerly bare their souls to the ‘hermit’; even his own teenage page, Isolier, comes seeking advice for the lovelorn. Isolier confesses that he’s madly in love with Countess Adèle, who lives in a nearby castle; what’s more, the boy has invented a clever strategem for infiltrating her home.
Ory’s ‘wise hermit’ disguise is spoiled by his own tutor, who promised Ory’s father he’d make his son behave. So Ory moves on to Isolier’s plan: that night, during a furious storm, he and his men disguise themselves as nuns and knock on Adèle’s door, begging her to offer them refuge from the wicked Count Ory, who, they say, is pursuing them. Isolier and Ory both inveigle themselves into Adèle’s bedroom; but in the ensuing love trio, between the darkness and the disguises, none of the three of them knows exactly whose body they’re embracing. Luckily for all concerned, as dawn comes up, the men of the village return home from the Crusades, and Isolier helps Ory escape.