Synopsis by Dorset Opera

The King of Lahore (le roi de Lahore), Alim, is in love with Sitâ, a chaste priestess of Indra who he has secretly been visiting in the temple. The King’s minster, Scindia, is also in love with Sitâ and begs her for her love. When Sitâ rejects him, Scindia swears revenge and orders her execution. To protect her, King Alim is forced to reveal his own illicit love for her. The High Priest Timour pronounces that to atone for this sin Alim must go into battle against the advancing Muslim army. Scindia schemes to have Alim attacked and seizes power for himself. Alim returns wounded and dies in Sitâ’s arms.

In Paradise, Alim appears before the goddess Indra who agrees to his reincarnation – but as a commoner – and with his life linked to Sitâ’s. If she dies, he will die too. Reincarnated, Alim finds Sitâ mourning his death and still pursued by Scindia. Scindia orders the revenant killed but High Priest Timour intervenes.

Hiding in the temple to avoid forced marriage, Sitâ draws a dagger to kill herself but is surprised by the arrival of Alim and they try to flee. However, Scindia arrives with his soldiers and, trapped, Sitâ stabs herself. Alim feels the same blow and dies with her. Sitâ and Alim are united in celestial paradise.

Dorset Opera

Le roi de Lahore has long been touted as a Massenet must-see. It bears all the hallmarks of our previous Massenet successes – Hérodiade in 2006 and the British stage première of Le Cid in 2018: great declamatory fanfares and ‘Grand Opera’ chorus tuttis intertwined with glorious love duets and arias – everything to fire your senses and stir the soul. It also gives Dorset Opera the opportunity to showcase talented opera singers of South Asian heritage in the principal roles.

– Dorset Opera


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