Émile Augier presents the story of SAPPHO, another tragedy set in classical times, full of betrayal and self-sacrifice. Ancient Greek drama had much in common with modern opera, emphasizing story lines that have been simplified to focus very tightly on particular emotional themes. The freshness and charm of this French dramatization is remarkable.
The Hunchback: A Play in Five Acts
Henri de Lagardere, the best swordsman in France, suddenly finds himself duty-bound to protect the baby female heir of a murdered friend--a girl who matures into a beautiful woman who will one day inherit a princely fortune--a girl with whom Henri…
Queen Margot: A Play in Five Acts
Written in 1847, while Dumas was at the height of his powers, this play recounts the events leading up to the Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre of the French Huguenots--and the subsequent death of King Charles IX. The playwright focuses on the people…
Two Voltairean Plays: The Triumvirate and Comedy at Ferney
Set in Roman times, Voltaire's play THE TRIUMVIRATE details a meeting on an island between Anthony and Octavian, in which the two main players in the post-Caesar Roman world decide how to divide up the spoils of war--and eliminate all potential…
Faust: A Play in XIV Scenes
French dramatist Adolphe d'Ennery (1811-1899) follows the Faust story originally developed by Goethe, but with a leavening of humor that the German playwright lacked. Especially entertaining is the character of the female demon Sulphurine, who's…
Armida & Amadis & Roland
In these three librettos, Philippe Quinault turns from classical opera to medieval legends--Renaud and Armida, Amadis and Oriana, and Angelica and Roland--exploring the tensions between love and glory. As usual, the dramatist relates his stories…
L'Assommoir: A Play in Five Acts
Émile Zola (1840-1902) was one of France's greatest novelists of the nineteenth century, being most famous as a writer for Nana (the story of a courtesan), and in the political world for his role in exposing the frame-up of Captain Dreyfus. However,…
Saving the Queen
Well-known French writer Théophile Gautier and Bernard Lopez combine their talents in this send-up of the cloak-and-sword dramas so popular with the Romantics. When the Spanish Queen's horse runs away with her, two unknown caballeros rescue…
In AGATHOCLES the two sons of the King of Syracuse (Agathocles) strive for the hand of the same girl, and the elder is killed by the younger. The ruler can only avenge his loss by sacrificing his remaining son--but doing so would mean the end of his…
Hans of Iceland: A Play in Three Acts
Based on the Victor Hugo novel of the same name (penned when the author was only twenty-one), this macabre play begins in a morgue. The fearsome outlaw, Hans of Iceland, whose face has been seen by no one, determines to kill a regiment of Musketeers…
About Frank J. Morlock, Émile Augier
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