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The Rose of Castile

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The Rose of Castile

by Augustus Glossop Harris

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

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


At the opening of the opera, Elvira, Queen of Leon, has just ascended the throne, and her hand has been demanded by the King of Castile for his brother, Don Sebastian, the Infant. The latter, with the design of satisfying his curiosity about her, is on the eve of entering Castile disguised as a muleteer. Elvira hears of this, and adopts the same expedient, by starting with Carmen, one of her attendants, disguised as peasants to intercept him. In the opening of the first act the two appear at an inn where the peasants are dancing. The innkeeper is rude to them, but Don Sebastian, disguised as Manuel the muleteer, protects them, and offers his services as escort, which the Queen willingly accepts, for she has recognized him and he has fulfilled the motive of the story by falling in love with her. At this point Don Pedro, who has designs upon the throne, with his fellow-conspirators Don Sallust and Don Florio, enter. Observing Elvira’s likeness to the Queen, they persuade her to personate Her Majesty, which, after feigned reluctance, she consents to do. She also accepts their services as escorts, and all the more unhesitatingly because she knows Manuel will follow her.


A Queen, disguising herself as a peasant who in this guise is then lured into impersonating the Queen…promising stuff if you’re looking for a vehicle for a female Danny Kaye, and don’t mind the unrelentingly old-fashioned setting and plotting.


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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