THE PASTRY PRINCE (2014)

 

47 minutes

 

soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass-baritone; piano

 

Libretto by Charles Anthony Silvestri

 

Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera/HGOco for the Opera to Go! program

 

Premiered by Opera to Go! January 2015 at Heinen Theatre, Houston

 

CHARACTERS:

Signor Giancarlo, the DUKE of Bologna                             Baritone

GIACOMO, leader of the commedia dell'arte troupe        Bass-baritone

GINA, his daughter                                                                Soprano

ALFREDO, an actor in the troupe                                        Tenor

ANNAMARIA, an actress in the troupe                               Mezzo-soprano

SALVATORE, a humble baker                                               Bass-baritone

ANGELINA, the baker's daughter                                        Soprano

Vincenzo, the PASTRY PRINCE                                             Baritone

AQUILIA, the Queen of the North Wind                             Mezzo-soprano

ZEPHYRUS, the Wizard of the West Wind                          Tenor

THREE WIZARDS, brothers of Zephyrus                             Tenor, Baritone, Bass-baritone

 

Cast of the original production
Julia Fox, soprano

Megan Berti, mezzo-soprano

Brian Ross Yeakley, tenor

Wes Landry, baritone

Said Pressley, bass-baritone

 

Teruhiko Toda, piano and music director

 

Matt Hune, stage director

 

Commissioned for HGOco by the Petrello Foundation

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Scene 1:

A troupe of actors arrives at the town of a wealthy duke, hoping that he will see their performance and recommend them to other nobles. But they hit a snag when they discover that Mario, their baritone, has disappeared! Unsure what to do, they panic. Unbeknownst to them, the Duke himself sees them in disarray, but is particularly smitten with Gina, one of the actresses. He dons a disguise and asks to join them for their performance of The Pastry Prince. The rehearsal for the opera begins!

 

Scene 2: The opera-within-the-opera begins in a humble baker's shop. Angelina, the daughter of the baker, is sad that she hasn't found the right man yet. On a suggestion from her father, she creates her own out of sugar and spice: the Pastry Prince! He is awakened by the kiss of true love.

 

Scene 3: Everything is going well for the engaged couple, who embark on a picnic...

 

Scene 4: ... but they are observed by Aquilia, the ruthless Queen of the Cold North Wind, who conjures a whirlwind to capture the prince and blow him up to her castle, where she imprisons him behind three magic defenses: thick brambles, a dark lake, and a dungeon door with no handle or latch. She tells him that they will be married by sunset, unless Angelina can somehow stymie the magic defenses.

 

Scene 5: Angelina is mournfully searching for her prince when she comes across three wizards. Hearing her tale of woe, they offer three magical nuts, each of which conveniently can undo the various spells entrapping the prince. Angelina, unaware of those magical spells, bemusedly accepts the nuts from the wizards, who conjure a whirlwind to send her to the castle of their brother, Zephyrus, the Wizard of the Warm West Wind.

 

Scene 6: It just so happens that Zephyrus is in love, albeit from afar, with Aquilia. He and Angelina hatch a plan: the wizard will distract the queen while she makes her way to the dungeons to free the prince.

 

Scene 7: Angelina makes her way to the dungeons. True to form, the three magic nuts remove the magical obstacles. 

 

Scene 8: Zephyrus woos the icy queen, and as they dance she gradually falls for him. Meanwhile, Angelina frees the prince, thus voiding the evil queen's marriage intentions. All dance. The Pastry Prince has come to a happy end.

 

Scene 9: Giacomo, leader of the troupe, is overjoyed to have found a new player to replace Mario. But now, the Duke reveals his true identity to all, and announces his intention to hire the troupe and make Giacomo his Minister of Merriment. 

 

 

Wes Landry and Julia Fox in The Pastry Prince at Heinen Theatre. Photo by Lynn Lane.

© 2015-2020 by Mark Buller. Created with Wix.com

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