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by Emile Deschamps

Genre: Operetta
Format of Original Source: Plot summary
Recommended Adaptation Length: 30 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


The story of the opera follows in the main the familiar historical, and probably apochryphal, narrative of the experiences of the Italian musician, Alessandro Stradella, varying from it only in the dénouement. Stradella wins the hand of Leonora, the fair ward of the wealthy Venetian merchant, Bassi, who is also in love with her. They fly to Rome and are married, but in the mean time are pursued by two bravos, Barbarino and Malvolio, who have been employed by Bassi to make way with Stradella. They track him to his house, and while the bridal party are absent, they enter in company with Bassi and conceal themselves. Not being able to accomplish their purpose on this occasion, they secure admission a second time, disguised as pilgrims, and are kindly received by Stradella. In the next scene, while Stradella, Leonora, and the two bravos are singing the praises of their native Italy, pilgrims on their way to the shrine of the Virgin are heard singing outside, and Leonora and Stradella go out to greet them. The bravos are so touched by Stradella’s singing that they hesitate in their purpose. Bassi upbraids them, and finally, upon receiving an additional sum of money, they agree to execute his designs, and conceal themselves. When Stradella returns and rehearses a hymn to the Virgin which he is to sing on the morrow, they are so affected that they emerge from their hiding-place, confess the object of their visit, and implore his forgiveness. Explanations follow, a reconciliation is effected, and the lovers are made happy. This dénouement differs from that of the historical version, in which both lovers are killed.


Based on a true 18th-century musician, but the storyline is not very compelling anymore.


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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