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by Camillo Walzel

Genre: Operetta, Romance
Format of Original Source: Plot summary
Recommended Adaptation Length: 60 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


Suppé is fond of introducing real characters among the personages of his operas, and in this one, which has become such a favorite, sharing equally in popularity with “Fatinitza,” we find Boccaccio of the “Decameron,” and the Fiametta whom he has immortalized in it (the Princess Maria of Naples, with whom he fell violently in love) masquerading as the adopted daughter of Lambertuccio, the grocer. In the opera he is rewarded with her hand in the finale. In reality, Maria, the Fiametta of the “Decameron,” was already the wife of another when Boccaccio was enamoured of her. She died long before her lover, but her memory was cherished by him, as in the case of Beatrice and Dante, and to her we owe undoubtedly the collection of tales in the “Decameron” which furnished such abundant material to subsequent poets, story-tellers, and dramatists.


The plot revolves around a girl who is not aware of her royal birth — which feels like a flimsy premise upon which to base a new musical these days, even if you set it in the past.  What thesis would you be chasing with this material?  Is there a metaphor which could lend itself to this storyline?


A word of caution:  This plot summary was written by 19th-century literary critic George Upton, who often mixes personal opinion with summation.  You would be advised to consult the original source material, if the general plot appeals to you.


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