Le roi de Lahore

26, 27 July at 19:00 • Matinée 29 July at 14:00

The Coade Hall, Bryanston, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 9LH

An opera in five acts by Jules Massenet • Libretto by Louis Gallet • Sung in French with English surtitles

Le roi de Lahore has long been touted as a Massenet must! It bears all the hallmarks of our previous Massenet successes – Hérodiade in 2006 and the British stage première of Le Cid in 2018: great declamatory fanfares and ‘Grand Opera’ chorus tuttis intertwined with glorious love duets and arias – everything to fire your senses and stir the soul. It also gives Dorset Opera the opportunity to showcase talented opera singers of South Asian heritage, in the principal roles

Brief Synopsis

The King of Lahore, Alim, is in love with Sitâ, a chaste priestess of Indra who he has secretly been visiting in the temple. The King’s minster, Scindia, is also in love with Sitâ and begs her for her love. When Sitâ rejects him, Scindia swears revenge and orders her execution. To protect her, King Alim is forced to reveal his own illicit love for her. The High Priest Timour pronounces that, to atone for this sin, Alim must go into battle against the advancing Muslim army. Scindia schemes to have Alim attacked and seizes power for himself. Alim returns wounded and dies in Sitâ’s arms.

In Paradise, Alim appears before the goddess Indra who agrees to his reincarnation – but as a commoner – and with his life linked to Sita’s. If she dies, he will die too. Reincarnated, Alim finds Sita mourning his death and still pursued by Scindia. Scindia orders the revenant killed but High Priest Timour intervenes.

Hiding in the temple to avoid forced marriage, Sita draws a dagger to kill herself but is surprised by the arrival of Alim and they try to flee. However, Scindia arrives with his soldiers and, trapped, Sita stabs herself. Alim feels the same blow and dies with her. Sitâ and Alim are united in celestial paradise.

Cast & Creative Team

Sitâ, priestess of Indra tbc
Kaled, The king’s servant tbc
Alim, King of Lahore tbc
Scindia, Minister to Alim tbc
Timour, high priest of Indra tbc
Indra, an Indian deity tbc
A priest tbc
Soldiers, People, Priests, Priestesses tbc
Celestial beings
Conductor Jeremy Carnall
Costume designer Stewart Charlesworth
Lighting designer James Smith
Chorus Master Stephen Harris
Orchestra Leader Emre Engin