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If I Were King (Si jetais roi)

(Adolphe Charles Adam)

This opera-comique was written by Adolphe Adam while he was working as a journalist, with the libretto written by Adolphe d’Ennery and Jules Bresil.   It is seen as possibly Adam’s finest work, although less popular than some of his others, and was first staged at Paris’ Theatre Lyrique in September 1852.  The royalties he received from this opera were enough to clear the crippling debt that the composer had fallen into several years earlier.

The story centres round a young fisherman in Goa, India, who saves a drowning princess.  He falls in love with her and is eventually able to make her his bride with the help of the King, but has to deal with the wicked schemes of an evil prince.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra recordings
Mercury 434 332-2 (CD – Marches and Overtures a la Francais)
Conductor – Paul Paray