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British Musical Theatre   Olivette


      In the first act of " Olivette," the people of the Village of Perpignan are excited over the approaching marriage of the Seneschal's only daughter, Olivette, with an old sea captain De Merrimac.   The young lady has just arrived from a convent, where she had fallen in love with a young officer, Valentine, nephew of De Merrimac.   The young Countess of Rousillon has, however, fallen in love herself with the young soldier, and comes to Perpignan to see him.   In the house of the Seneschal, the Countess has her solitude invaded by Valentine, who believes he is climbing the balcony of Olivette.   Meanwhile the uncle, whose suit does not prosper with Olivette, writes the Countess a letter demanding the young lady's hand.   Valentine contrives to pass himself off for the real De Merrimac, and accordingly marries Olivette at the request of the Countess.

The second act opens with a ball given by the Countess in honor of the wedding, and Valentine finds that he has to personate not only his uncle, but himself, by constant change of dress.   The real De Merrimac returns, and is greeted by everybody as the happy bridegroom.   Finally his perplexity a resolved by the appearance of Valentine as the old man, and the result of the explanation is that De Merrimac resolves to take the bride that Valentine has married in his name.   A conspiracy is formed, and Olivette gets rid for the moment of her elderly bridegroom.   The love of the Countess for Valentine upsets the calculations of Olivette, for the sovereign lady of Rousillon announces her intention of marrying the loyal soldier who had quelled the conspiracy.   As a last resource, Valentine, at the instigation of Olivette, joins the plot, and the Countess is ordered to be sent out of the kingdom.

      The third and last act describes the partial success of the plot and the imprisonment of the Countess on the "Cormorant," the ship commanded by De Merrimac.   Olivette and her husband, disguised as sailors, seek a vessel to take them away.   Valentine is detected and seized.   Olivette manages to set the Countess free and assume her dress, her own place being taken by her maid, Valentine, whom the near-sighted Duke courts.   De Merrimac returns, and is horrified to hear the Duke tell Valentine of his courtship of Olivette.   Both nephew and uncle disown the bride until the return of the Countess and the unveiling of Olivette.   Valentine at last is united to Olivette, the Countess accepts the Duc de Ifs, and De Merrimac is advised to follow the example of the Doge of Venice and "marry the sea."

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