Home » Opera and Ballet » L’Étoile at the Royal Opera House – 1st to 24th February 2016

L’Étoile at the Royal Opera House – 1st to 24th February 2016



Mark Elder conducts The Royal Opera’s first production of Chabrier’s comic opera, directed by Mariame Clément (Glyndebourne’s Don Pasquale).

Emmanuel Chabrier is  relatively unknown today, but was known for his 19th century comic operas – Le Roi malgré lui (The King in Spite of Himself) and L’Étoile (The Star). L’Étoile was first performed in 1877 and was one of Chabrier’s few operatic successes. This popularity did not continue into the 20th century when the opera  was virtually ignored. More recently, some leading opera companies, conductors and audiences have discovered the charms of the opera. L’Étoile’s surreal plot  provides the basis for an opera of great imagination and dark humour.

The story centres around King Ouf I who always celebrates his birthday with a public impalement and has gone in disguise among his people to find a suitable victim. The forthright young pedlar Lazuli has just fallen in love with Princess Laoula (also in disguise) and is appalled to learn she is already betrothed, to Ouf. Unknowingly Lazuli insults Ouf, who thinks he has found his candidate – until court astrologer Siroco reveals that the stars of Lazuli and Ouf are so closely bound that if Lazuli dies so will Ouf.

Mariame Clément (Don Pasquale at Glyndebourne) makes her Royal Opera debut with this new production, which brings to life Chabrier’s surreal and imaginative world.

Running times

Approximately two hours and 35 minutes, including a 25-minute interval


Sung in French with English surtitles

If you would like further information, visit the Royal Opera House website here

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