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THE ROSE OF PERSIA or The Story-Teller and the Slave A comic opera in two acts; libretto by Basil Hood; inspired by the tale of Abu Hassan, or The Sleeper Awakened from the Arabian Nights. Music by Arthur Sullivan. Produced at the Savoy Theatre, London, 29 November 1899: Produced at Daly's Theatre, New York, 6 September 1900 (25 perfs) STORY ACT I Abu-el-Hassan has a fine house in the best part of town, apparently unlimited cash resources, and everything such resources can buy as well as a respectable complement of mostly attractive wives, yet he shuns the friendship of fashionable persons and prefers to spend time and money with and on the professional have-nots of the town Some of the less wholly loyal of his wives are starting to express a doubt or two on his sanity, but Hassan has no such doubts. After all, although he could afford twice as many wives as he has, he has purposely limited himself to twenty-five: twice as many would just be twice the trouble. His chief wife, the dragonistic Dancing Sunbeam, is in no doubt as to her husband's feeble-mindedness. The very fact that he will not use his riches to win himself - and her - an exalted social position is proof enough of madness. For his own reasons Abdallah is planning, with tacit state support, to exorcise the madness from the wealthy philanthropist with the aid of some religiously approved and grotesque physical tortures. Abdallah's intentions reverse when Hassan announces that he has made his will in Abdallah's favour. If Hassan is proved mad the will would, of course, be invalid. The priest is now interested in arranging a sudden demise for Hassan rather than a simple committal, a solution which certainly wouldn't displease Dancing Sunbeam who sees her husband's fortune as 'The Golden Key' to high society.. Blush-of-Morning, an altogether more sympathetic wife, is quite depressed by the talk of impending widowhood but Abdallah and Dancing Sunbeam assure her that it is a condition which soon passes. This evening Yussuf, a travelling story-teller, brings to Hassan's home a group of veiled ladies who claim to be a displaced group of dancing girls. The street-wise Yussuf suspects they are really royal slaves who have sneaked out in disguise for a night on the town. He assures them that Hassan will give them hospitality until the Sultan and his guards are safely off-guard and they can return to the Palace. The truth, however, is that one of the company is actually the Sultana, Rose-in-Bloom, herself making a most improper and indeed illegal foray outside the harem. Having committed herself to this rash adventure, she is now not at all sure that her daring was a good idea. Back in the Palace the world outside seemed so tempting. Her impatience to escape into the real world felt to her like the yearnings of a girl waiting for her love Hassan returns to his home, bringing with him the beggars and fake cripples who profit from his openhandedness. He explains how he won his fortunes by dint of some very Victorian confidence tricks. The evening's revelry begins with wine all round. The visiting 'dancing girls' are then prevailed upon to contribute an exhibition of their talents to the entertainment, but consternation reigns when Abdallah arrives with a party of bribed policemen. The beggars escape with practised speed and Abdallah, claiming a royal warrant, arrests instead the 'dancing girls'. The intrepid slave girl Heart's-Desire attempts to draw attention from her mistress by displaying the royal signet ring before the priest and claiming to be the Sultana, but the plan backfires. Abdallah gleefully informs Hassan that the penalty for consorting with the Sultana is some kind of execution. Dancing Sunbeam, hearing of this alienation of what she considers her wordly goods, is livid.