Monte Carlo in the 1920’s. The Countess Sylvie and Maitre Jean conspire to acquire Horace’s magnificent pet dove. Horace has lost his entire fortune gambling at the Casino, in a failed attempt to impress the Countess Sylvie, his heart’s desire. However all his attempts to woe her have thus far been unsuccessful. In her efforts to get her hands on the dove, Sylvie arrives unexpectedly at Horace’s shed and invites herself to dinner. The impoverished Horace, unable to put together a suitable meal for his sweetheart, despairingly decides to sacrifice his beloved pet dove and serve it as the main course.
But the plot takes a surprising turn…
A light-hearted and entertaining story ending with a twist.
The opera “La Colombe” has a very funny but rather sparse storyline, which allows me the opportunity to colour it with my imagination and add some unexpected side plots and comic twists. I am placing the opera in Monte Carlo in the 1920s. The slightly depressed Horace has lost all his money at the casino, trying to impress the countess Sylvie. Mazet, Horace’s goddaughter, has some deep but secret feelings towards the unlucky man. Meanwhile a pretentious Russian prince in exile - with a name too difficult to pronounce therefore nicknamed Maitre Jean - connives with Sylvie on how to purloin Horace’s last treasure: a dove once kissed by Sylvie. By giving the two original Commedia dell’arte ‘servant’ characters - Mazet and Maitre Jean - more CHUTZPAH, we elevate them and create a storyline between them. Thus, not only enabling them to pursue their goal of serving their respective masters, but also having a personal storyline to play out.