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(Verdi: Les Vêpres siciliennes). Ten. A young Sicilian in love with Hélène, sister of the assassinated Duke Frederick of Austria. Montfort, who is Governor of Palermo since the French occupied Sicily, warns him to keep away from her, a warning he ignores. Questioned by Montfort about his background, Henri soon learns that he is the Governor's illegitimate son. He refuses to acknowledge this. But when Hélène conspires with others to murder Montfort, Henri intervenes. He is denounced by the Sicilians as a traitor and Hélène is imprisoned. Henri visits her and tells her the full story and she forgives him for his actions. He agrees to call Montfort ‘father’ in return for Hélène's freedom, and the Governor gives his consent to their marriage. Too late, Hélène discovers that the sounding of the bells at her wedding is the sign for the Sicilian uprising and the French are massacred. Aria: O jour de peine (‘O day of sorrow’). Created (1855) by Louis Gueymard.

Subjects: Opera.

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