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Queen Indigo

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Queen Indigo

by Adolphe Jaime

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

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


At the opening of the opera King Indigo has just died, and his widow, Montadada I., decides to sell the harem. Fantasca, a beautiful slave, who was the favorite of the King, is included among those to be sold, and Romadour, chief of the eunuchs, resolves to secure her. Fantasca is in love with Janio, the King’s jester, of her own country. Queen Montadada is also in love with him and has chosen him for her second husband, but he prefers Fantasca. The two contrive a cunning plot for the escape of the entire harem. Janio informs the Queen that one of her tribes has revolted, and as her troops are all sick he proposes that the women be armed and that he be placed in command. She accepts the proposal, and promises that the victor “shall choose the woman he loves, did she even wear a crown,” not doubting Janio will select her, but, much to her chagrin, he announces Fantasca as his choice.


A very interesting mise-en-scene with an unusually colorful cast which includes as its heroes eunuchs, jesters and harem girls.  There are a LOT of cross-gender disguises throughout the entire storyline, and as such might make for a very interesting reboot.  You’d probably want to rethink some of the unsatisfying story beats in the latter half of the show (e.g., selling folks into slavery), and the title character is hopelessly superficial, but there’s something potentially very interesting in this story to a modern audience.

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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