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Lakmé

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Lakmé

by Edmond Goudinet

Genre: Operetta, Romance
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Plot summary
Recommended Adaptation Length: Two Hours

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely

EXCERPT:

The opera of “Lakmé” opens in the sacred grounds of Nilakantha, a Brahmin priest who has an aversion to all foreigners, where Gerald and Frederick, two young English officers, with ladies are strolling about. They gradually retire with the exception of Gerald, who is curious to see the owner of some jewels left upon a shrine. Lakmé, the daughter of Nilakantha, returns for them, espies Gerald, and there is a case of love at first sight. The priest however interrupts their demonstrations, and Gerald escapes his vengeance in a convenient thunder-storm. In the second act Lakmé and Nilakantha appear in the market-place in the guise of penitents. He forces his daughter to sing, hoping that her voice will induce her lover to disclose himself. The scheme succeeds, and Nilakantha, stealing upon Gerald, stabs him in the back and makes good his escape. The third act opens in a jungle where Lakmé is nursing Gerald with the hope of retaining his love. She eventually saves his life, but while she is absent to obtain some water which, according to the Indian legend, will make love eternal, Frederick finds him and urges him to return to his regiment. Duty is more powerful than passion, and he consents. When Lakmé finds that he is going, she takes poison and dies in Gerald’s arms.



COMMENTS:

Plot elements no longer palatable by a modern-day audience, unless to mock.  (Mysterious jewels, sacred shrines, murder, magic elixirs, suicide by poison.)


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