"The Alcayde" will be given its first regular performance tomorrow evening in Brattle Hall before an audience of Pi Eta graduates. The rehearsals this week have put the piece in smooth running order, and a full dress rehearsal with the orchestra will be held this afternoon.
The opera is of a distinctly Spanish type, both in general atmosphere and musical composition. The first act takes place in Seville, and the second act in the gypsy camp outside the city. Mr. Edward E. Rose, who has had charge of the production, has paid special attention to the chorus work this year, and their dances and marches will form a distinct feature.
The plot is of a rather more substantial character than that of most light operas. Don Manuel, the young and handsome Alcayde of Seville, is desperately in love with Farina, an orphan maid of lowly birth. As Farina is the ward of the Grand Inquisitor of Seville, it becomes necessary for Don Manuel to ask the consent of that pompous functionary before pressing his suit. The Inquisitor, however, has designs of a nuptial nature on Farina himself, and to put his rival out of the way he shows Don Manuel a prenuptial contract made with a fierce Moorish chieftain when the present Alcayde was but an infant. By this agreement Don Manuel is to wed the Moorish prince Kazooka on attaining his majority, and it is on his twenty-first birthday that the action of the play takes place.
The Alcayde vows he will never marry his bride-elect, and resolves to make way with himself. He his deterred from this proceeding, however, by the appearance of the gypsy Carlos, who, on learning of the state of affairs, makes the suggestion that Don Manuel and he change clothes and henceforth accept each other's fortunes. This course is carried out.
The Grand Inquisitor meanwhile loses no time in pressing his suit with Farina, and to end Don Manuel's hopes, shows her the compact with the Moor. But Farina has no love for her artful guardian, and when Don Manuel, in the guise of Carlos, the gypsy, makes love to her, she readily accepts him, and the pair plan an elopement.
At this stage the Moorish princess and her fierce brother, Abu Abdela, appear upon the scene to claim, in accordance with the ancient contract, the young Alcayde, Don Manuel. The Grand Inquisitor is unable to produce Don Manuel, at which Abu flies into a terrible passion, and makes things extremely unpleasant for Seville's chief magistrate.
Just as Farina and Don Manuel, still in the disguise of Carlos, are about to elope, the Inquisitor pounces upon them, and puts a stop to proceedings in short order by locking up the supposed gypsy.
Abu Abdela returns to press matters with unhappy Grand Inquisitor, who as a last extreme produces the disguised Alcayde as the real Don Manuel, and bids the preparations for the wedding proceed. At this juncture the appearance of the drunken Carlos, in the garb of the Alcayde, makes matters all the more complicated and intricate.
In spite of the ever-watchful Inquisitor, Don Manuel, still disguised as Carlos, succeeds in eloping with Farina, and the pair make their way to the gypsy camp. More complications ensue, when the pseudo Carlos announces his intention of marrying Farina. Preparations for the wedding at length are made, when suddenly Gitana, the wife of the erring Carlos, and his not over-amiable mother-in-law appear, and makes matters extremely interesting for the gypsy.
The Grand Inquisitor gets into no end of hot water with the fierce Moor and his disappointed sister, Kazooka, and it takes much diplomacy to finally straighten matters out. The exchange of clothes between Don Manuel and Carlos, which has been the cause of so much trouble, is at length discovered.
In the final denouement, the fierce Abu Abdela, at the point of the sword, makes the Grand Inquisitor take Kazooka for his bride, much to the stately official's chagrin, while Gitana and her mother lead off poor Carlos by the ears. The ending, like that of all comic operas, is, of course, most happy, and Don Manuel, the virtuous Alcayde finally wins the hand of the orphan maid, Farina.
The cast of characters is as follows:
Don Bertram Del Fandango, Grand
Inquisitor of Seville, a stern and pompous functionary, Norman H. White L. S.
Don Manuel de Mendoza, Alcayde of Seville, noble of birth, but meek of manner, E. W. Rich '97.