The Royal Opera’s first production of Chabrier’s fabulously frothy comic opera L’Etoile, telling the story of the bound fates of a King and a pedlar, is conducted by Mark Elder and directed by Mariame Clément.

King Ouf I traditionally marks his birthday with a public impalement of a deserving victim of his choosing, and has gone in disguise among his people to locate a suitable candidate. When the forthright young pedlar Lazuli falls for Ouf’s also-disguised betrothed, Ouf believes he has found his man.

That is, of course, until court astrologer Siroco reveals that the stars of Lazuli and Ouf are so closely bound that if Lazuli dies, so will Ouf.

Beneath L’Etoile’s madcap plot there is music of tremendous craft, imagination and beauty – with an extra serving of extremely dark humour. Mariame Clément (Don Pasquale at Glyndebourne) makes her Royal Opera debut with this new production, which brings to life Chabrier’s surreal and lovely world.

Comedian and actor Chris Addison (In The Loop, Veep, Mock The Week, Have I Got News For You) makes his Royal Opera debut in the production alongside French actor Jean-Luc Vincent in two roles specially created by director Mariame Clément.

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