Les Trois Mousquetaires, an opera premiere
The Festival is proud to present the world premiere of an original operatic adaptation of Dumas’s classic rendering of The Three Musketeers. D’Artagnan, Aramis, Athos, and Porthos are all here, along with Milady and Richelieu, bringing you the intrigue, the swordsmanship, and the gallantry of ‘One for all and all for one!’ This brand-new take on the legendary tale, with music by Mitchell Bach (descendant of J.S. Bach) and libretto by the Festival’s own Maria Todaro, will bring you into the heart of the machinations of the French court and the heroism of the Musketeers!
Saturday August 5, 2017
3pm-5pm Phoenicia Park, Main Stage
$5, $35, $90 (VIP)
$5 Youth Admission/18 and under
$35 General Admission/bring blanket, lawn chair, or rent a chair
$90 VIP Admission/reserved section seating, champagne/snack, festival souvenir
Conductor and pianist:
Composer: Mitchell Bach; Librettist: Maria Todaro
Joseph Michael Brent
Duke of Buckingham:
The Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice
1628, Paris. D’Artagnan, a young, impoverished nobleman from Gascony, longs to be a Musketeer in service of King Louis XIII, but he has managed to offend one of the most famous Musketeers, Athos, and is preparing to meet him in a duel. Athos arrives with his seconds, Porthos and Aramis, two more fabled Musketeers, and D’Artagnan offends them as well, declaring himself prepared to duel them all. As D’Artagnan and Athos square up, Cardinal Richelieu's guards show up to arrest the three Musketeers for illegal dueling, and D’Artagnan fights at their side. The four win—D’Artagnan falls in love at first sight with Constance, who passes by during the duel—and the Cardinal summons them to the palace to be punished by the King. But Louis rewards them instead and entrusts D’Artagnan to the care of the three Musketeers, telling him to prove himself worthy. The four celebrate their new friendship at the Inn of La Pomme de Pain, where Porthos expresses his love for life, women, and wine.
Constance passes by, and D’Artagnan rushes out to talk to her, but she tells him he must not follow her. What he does not know is that Constance is in the service of Queen Anne, who has broken off an affair with the Duke of Buckingham and has given him as a pledge of affection a diamond necklace.
The Cardinal’s spy, Milady de Winter, has learned of this gift, and the Cardinal intends to use it to provoke war with England. Aware that the Duke is still in Paris, he orders Milady to do what is “ necessary” to provoke war. As a result, Constance is arrested and held prisoner in the convent of St Germain.
Naturally, she does not show up for a rendez-vous with D’Artagnan, who, broken-hearted, tells the Musketeers about Constance’s mission for the Queen. The Musketeers conclude that the situation is one of grave danger for France. Action is necessary!
Milady meets with the Duke of Buckingham claiming she has been sent by the Queen to retrieve her diamond necklace. When the Duke tries to have Milady seized, she stabs him. An English duke murdered on French soil? War is now a certainty.
As war preparations proceed and the Cardinal reviews the troops, Queen Anne, helped by a lady in waiting, discreetly begs the Musketeersto recover the necklace, which she suspects is already in the possession of the Cardinal. Anne fears the Cardinal will use it to expand the war to Austria and Spain, the empire which she, Anne d’Autriche, represents. The muskeeters pledge their allegiance and promise to restore the necklace to her.
The men comment on the power of women, from seamstresses to queens, and Athos shares the love story of “a friend” who hanged his wife; the other three understand that he is talking about himself.
D’Artagnan volunteers to interrogate Milady, who welcomes him to her home and flirts with him brazenly. This confuses D’Artagnan, but he eventually finds the diamonds and must flee when his theft is discovered. An infuriated Miladyimmediately informs the Cardinal, who gives her carte blanche to get rid of any potential obstacle to his plan.
D’Artagnan has meanwhile rushed to alert his companions, to whom he confirms that Milady is actually Athos’s “hanged” wife. A fleur-de-lys branded onto her shoulder is the giveaway. Milady has threatened him: bring the diamond necklace to the Covent of St Germain—and come alone!—or Constance will die. The Musketeers decide to accompany him, rescue Constance, and end the threats of Milady for once and for all.
At the Covent of St Germain en Laye, Constance joins her voice in prayer with the nuns’svespers and lamentshow much she longs for D’Artagnan. Milady arrives and fatally poisons Constance before D’Artagnan can rescue her. A bloody fight ensues, and the Musketeers defeat Milady and her henchmen. They put her on trial and sentence her to death, but D’Artagnan, filled with rage and pain, stabs her before the sentence can be carried out.
Cardinal Richelieu persuades the King to demand the Queen bring her diamond necklace to him as proof of her (nonexistent) fidelity. D’Artagnan arrives with the necklace in time for the Queen to explain to Louis it had simply been sent out for repair.
The Cardinal then tries to incriminate D’Artagnan, who tells the tale of Milady DeWinter, already executed. Questioned about her death, D'Artagnan presentsthe “carte blanche” order signed by the Cardinal, who now writes a new order, giving the bearer—name left blank—a promotion to lieutenant in his company of guards. Prodded by the Queen, the King also signsa promotion to lieutenant in his Company of Musketeers, leaving the name blank on that order as well.
D'Artagnan offers the promotion letter to Athos, Porthos, and Aramis in turn but each refuses it—Athos because it is beneath him, Porthos because he is retiring to marry his wealthy mistress, and Aramis because he is joining the priesthood. All claim that no other than D’Artagnan deserves that promotion.