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Fra Diavolo

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Fra Diavolo

by Eugene Scribe

Genre: Operetta
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Plot summary
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising

EXCERPT:

The first act of this universally favorite opera opens with the hurried arrival of Lord Allcash, a typical English tourist, and his wife, at the inn of Terracina, kept by Matteo, whose daughter, Zerlina, is loved by Lorenzo, a young soldier. The latter is about to start for the capture of Fra Diavolo, the leader of the bandits, when the action of the opera begins. The English tourists have been robbed on their journey by the band of this same Fra Diavolo, who has followed them in the disguise of a marquis and has been very attentive to the susceptible Lady Allcash. Lord Allcash has a quarrel with his wife on this account in a humorous duet, “I don’t object.” Fra Diavolo learns that the travellers have saved the most of their valuables, and lays his own plans to secure them. In an interview with Zerlina, she, mistaking him for the Marquis, sings him the story of Fra Diavolo in a romanza, “On Yonder Rock Reclining,” which has become a favorite the world over. To further his schemes he makes love to Lady Allcash in a graceful barcarole, “The Gondolier, Fond Passion’s Slave.” In the finale of the act Lorenzo and his carbineers return, and not finding Fra Diavolo at the inn, where they had hoped to surprise him, resume their search, leaving him to perfect his plans for the robbery.



COMMENTS:

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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