Shows P

behaviour and heard the hideous drunken singing, late at night, of the slut whom his superior has brought into the viceregal household and given the apartments which should belong to a lady of the court. Piquillo, who awakes to find himself clad in gorgeous clothes, left alone in a place which seems to be a museum or some such, and called the Marquis du Mananares and Baron de Tobago, is even more confused but, little by little, the scornful jibes of the courtiers and court ladies allow him to piece together the events of the past night. He remembers that Panatellas and Pedro promised him a large sum of money with which to get out of town and go in search of his beloved Périchole once his marriage was done, but there is yet one deed which he needs to perform for them before he can be allowed to go. He must present his wife formally to the Viceroy in court. Since this will allow him to see the woman he married with straight eyes, Piquillo agrees, but he is stunned when his wife appears and proves to be none other than his own Périchole. He breaks out in anger as she tries to calm him sufficiently to make him understand that she is not the Viceroy's mistress and that she is acting for the ultimate happiness of the two of them but Piquillo will have none of it. Bitterly he flings his wife at the Viceroy's feet, denouncing her horribly and scorning the viceregal person. The furious Don Andrès orders his arrest and Piquillo is roughly dragged off to the dungeon reserved for difficult husbands. La Périchole uses her feminine wiles to win, firstly, home comforts for her beloved in his cell and, finally, his release, and Don Andrès commands that the formal presentation, so dramatically spoiled that morning, be made without incident that evening at his ceremonial dinner. Piquillo, however, is still inclined to tantrums, even when Périchole points out that she, at least, knew whom she was marrying when she agreed to accept him whilst he was so drunk he didn't know or care whom he was getting. And, after all, have they not become man and wife without spending four piastres? Did he not read her letter in which she promised that she would remain virtuous in the house of the Viceroy? Piquillo's arguments fritter away into silly, vain little considerations and, finally, Périchole convinces him to make the required presentation. If Piquillo is unhappy about the situation, the court is even more so. At the ceremonial serving of his dinner, Don Andrès finds all his food either snatched away under pretence of protocol or else rendered inedible; he finds his jokes unappreciated and his courtiers unflattering until, realising that this is an attempt to freeze him out of his passion for Périchole, he reacts vengefully and effectively by cutting everybody's stipend. Fawning returns at an unprecedented level in time for the presentation of the new Marquise but, once again, the presentation is barely in line with custom. Piquillo and Périchole present a duet. It is their own story and, in its course, Périchole returns to Don Andrès all the jewels and money he has given her. The end of the tale tells how the singer and her beloved gave back all the gifts they had accepted and went back to their old lives and their old love. Their story affects Don Andrès with its sincerity and its renunciation of wealth for love and, when it is finished, he sentimentally bids them go their way, taking the money and jewels with them. They are rich and they are married and it didn't even cost four piastres! Taken from Ganzl's Book of the Musical Theatre ISBN 0-370-31157-4 Musical Numbers: Act I Overture 1. Chorus of Merrymakers - "Lift up your voices" 2. Song of the Three Cousins - "We are three cousins" 3. Reprise - "Ah, to take a drop or two" 4. Chorus - "It's he! It's he! Our Viceroy!" 5. Song of the Incognito - Don Andres: "Without a word to anybody" 6. Entrance of La Perichole and Paquillo 7. The Soldier and the Indian Maid (Duet) - La Perichole and Paquillo: "The soldier wooed the maiden" 8. Circus Scene