An opera by Lully
Once upon a time, there was a man named Roland. He was from a royal family and he was very rich. His uncle was King Charlemagne. Many girls wanted to marry Roland, but he wasn’t interested in them. Roland was in love with Princess Angelique.
Angelique was stunningly beautiful. Roland was so in love with her, it hurt. He visited Angelique day after day and finally, he opened his heart and told her that he loved her. He asked Angelique to marry him. Angelique’s father heard about Roland’s proposal of marriage and he was delighted. Roland was rich and respectable and above all, he was from a royal family. “Angelique, marry Roland,” said the king. But Angelique was sad. She did not love Roland. Actually, Angelique was in love with Medor, but this was a secret. Medor was a very handsome young man, whose family was from Africa. Medor was not from a royal family, but he was brave and kind. Medor and Angelique loved each other. It was true love.
Every day, Roland visited Angelique. He always said, “I love you from the bottom of my heart.” Angelique was respectful to Roland. She said “Hello” to him and offered him tea, but she didn’t say anything else to him. She was silent.
One day, Angelique was walking through the forest. She was secretly going to see Medor. Suddenly, Roland appeared on the path in front of her. “Angelique, I love you more than you will ever know. Marry me!” said Roland. He gave her a beautiful bracelet. It was made with rubies and emeralds. Angelique didn’t know what to do. Her family would be happy if she married Roland. Her father wanted her to marry him. But she did not want to marry him. She knew that she just couldn’t do it. She couldn’t betray her own feelings. She took the bracelet, because she respected Roland. She politely said “Thank you,” but then she said, “I cannot talk now.” After that, she ran into the forest.
Angelique knew that her father would make her marry Roland, so she decided never to return home. She decided to run away for good. Angelique ran and ran until her legs hurt. She ran to Medor’s cabin in the forest. As soon as she saw him, she kissed him. At first, Medor was happy, but then he saw that Angelique was weeping. “Why are you weeping?” he asked.
“Roland wants to marry me. My father will force me to marry Roland,” replied Angelique, sadly.
“Don’t marry him, my love,” said Medor. “Marry me, Angelique.”
Angelique was happy for a second. But then she said, “I am not free to marry you.” Large tears fell down her face.
“Yes, you are! Marry me!” said Medor again. “Let’s run away together.”
Angelique was desperate. “Yes,” she said. She and Medor kissed. Hand in hand, they ran away. They were free!
Medor and Angelique ran to a small town. Angelique took off her royal clothes. She put on a wedding dress. They had a wedding ceremony at a chapel. Angelique was so beautiful and the couple looked so happy that all the people of the town were happy, too. After the ceremony, there was music and a joyful celebration.
Back at his castle, Roland was worried. “Where is Angelique?” he asked the servants and the royal family. She had disappeared. Quickly, Roland ran back to the forest to find her. He walked and walked, crying out “Angelique, my love.” He looked and looked, until it was very dark.
He stopped at a local town. He asked, “Have you seen a beautiful princess?” The happy villagers said, “No, no princess. But there was a beautiful bride here yesterday. She was as beautiful as a princess. She was generous, too.” Roland was suspicious so he asked for more information. “She was beautiful and generous? How was she generous?”
A townsperson replied, “She paid for food and music. She invited the town to a big celebration. She paid generously with this beautiful bracelet. Do you see? These rubies are real.”
Roland saw the bracelet. It was the same bracelet that he had given Angelique. Roland was devastated. He left the town and returned to the castle, but he never loved again.