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Auber: Overture to The Bronze Horse

Synopsis of the opera: Péki is due to be married against her will to the mandarin Tsing-Sing, who already has four wives. Péki meets Prince Yang and tells him she is really in love with the poor young farmhand Yan-Ko, but six months earlier he mysteriously disappeared into the sky riding a bronze horse. Yan-Ko returns on the horse but refuses to say where he has been. The prince interrupts Péki's wedding by ordering Tsing-Sing to fly away with him on the horse. Undeterred by the ruined wedding, Péki's father finds another rich old man for her to marry. She decides to elope with Yan-Ko. Tsing-Sing returns on the bronze horse without the prince and refuses to reveal anything about his adventure because if he does he will be transformed into a statue. Unfortunately, he mumbles some details during his sleep and is turned into stone, as is Péki's beloved, Yan-Ko. She decides to ride away on the horse to try to save him. The horse takes Péki (who is disguised as a man) to the palace of Princess Stella on the planet Venus. Péki needs Stella's magic bracelet to rescue her beloved from the spell. She easily passes the task Stella sets her to resist seduction by a group of beautiful women. Péki returns to earth to find the statues of Yan-Ko, Tsing-Sing and Prince Yang (who was unable to resist kissing Stella). She uses the bracelet to free Yan-Ko and the prince but she will not fully release Tsing-Sing until he promises to give up his marriage claims on her. This leaves her free to marry Yan-ko and Prince Yang marries Princess Stella.

Source: Wikipedia

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, last movement

Britten: Matinees Musicales

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