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L'Étoile L'Etoile

(The Star of Fate)

an opéra-bouffe in three acts by Eugène Leterrier and Albert Vanloo. Original Music by Emmanuel Chabrier.

Broadway Theatre, New York (as The Merry Monarch); Book and lyrics by Cheever Goodwin; music by Woolson Morse; Broadway Theatre, New York; 18 August, 1890 (49 perfs)
Savoy Theatre, London (as The Lucky Star); Book and lyrics by Charlie Brookfield, Adrian Ross and Aubrey Hopwood; Music by Ivan Caryll; 7 January, 1899


Act 1

King Ouf the First roams his city, in disguise, searching for a suitable subject to execute as a birthday treat. Hérisson de Porc-Epic, an ambassador, and his wife, Aloès, arrive, accompanied by his secretary, Tapioca, and Laoula, the daughter of a neighboring monarch. They are traveling incognito, and the princess is being passed off as Hérisson's wife. Their mission, of which Laoula is unaware, is to marry her to Ouf. Complications arise when Laoula and a poor pedlar, Lazuli, fall in love at first sight. Scolded for flirting, Lazuli insults the disguised king and thus becomes a desired candidate for death by impalement. But Siroco, the king's astrologer, reveals that the fates of the king and the pedlar are inextricably linked; the stars predict that they will die within 24 hours of each other. Fortunes change again, and Lazuli is escorted with honors into the palace.

Act 2

Lazuli, feted and well fed, grows bored with luxury and longs for Laoula. Ouf, still unaware of the disguises, furthers the lovers' hopes of marriage by imprisoning the supposed husband, Hérisson. The lovers depart but Hérisson escapes and orders the pedlar to be shot. Gunfire is heard, but although Laoula is brought in there is no sign of Lazuli. Ouf bemoans his impending death.

Act 3

Lazuli, having escaped harm, overhears Ouf, Siroco and Hérisson discussing the situation, and eventually reveals himself to Laoula. They plan a second elopement. The king and Siroco try to raise their spirits with a large glass of green chartreuse. Ouf, desperate to marry Laoula and secure an heir to the throne, tries to thwart the lovers again. However, when the clocks strike five and nothing happens, Ouf realises that the astrologer's predictions were wrong. In a general final chorus Lazuli and Laoula address the audience to a reprise of Act 1 finale.


King Ouf I, King of the thirty-six realms
Siroco, his astologer
Prince Hérrison de Porc-Épic, an ambassador from the court of Mataquin
Aloès, his wife
Tapioca, his personal secretary
Princess Laoula of Mataquin
Chief of Police
Oasis, Youka, Asphodèle, Zinnia, Koukouli, Adza, royal maids of honour