A Trip to Africa
Miradillo, a penniless and poor explorer, who is loved by a Sicilian milliner, Tessa, leaves Palermo, Italy to travel into the recesses of darkest Africa. He arrives at his first destination on his journey and his courage and money fail him. With exhausted funds he is about to be ejected from the hotel Pharaone, owned by Pericles, when Titania appears on the scene. She also is in a quandary because her fortune of millions from her uncle Pasha Fanfani will be forfeited if she does not find a husband in a very short time. Miradillo and Titania meet and resolve to help each other. She pays his hotel bill, and he poses as her husband for her Uncle. In the meantime Uncle Fanfani has squandered his money and not sure what to tell Titania. He does not place credence in the story of Titania's marriage, and decides to abduct his niece, that she may be free of marriage.
Next appears Prince Antarsid, a Bedouin prince, who comes to the city to purchase slaves. He meets Titania, and they fall in love with each other. Pasha Fanfani wants to free Titania from Miradillo, and unaware of her attachment to Antarsid, he invites them to accompany him to his villa, where he furthers his plot and cause.
In the second act, Titania, to avoid the enforced advances of Miradillo, implores Antarsid to abduct her to take her away from the location. Tessa discloses her identity to Miradillo, while the Pasha falls desperately in love with her, but learns that she prefers Miradillo, and becoming convinced that Miradillo is the cause of his many troubles he persuades Antarsid to abduct him and take him away. The act closes with the rising of the Nile, and in the confusion Titania departs with Antarsid, who has fulfilled his promise to Pasha Fanfani, and takes Miradillo as his prisoner. Tessa and Buccametta again follow the unfortunate explorer into the desert.
In the third act, which pictures a Bedouin camp, the complications are straightened out. Titania marries Antarsid, Miradillo goes back to Tessa, and Pasha Fanfani, in order to save his life, becomes the husband of Buccametta.
At the opening of the operetta Don Lamberto receives a letter from Fanchette announcing her arrival in Lisbon, and the situation becomes embarrassing. The Queen surprises Lamberto while he is reading the letter, and is put off by her husband with an excuse about contracts for regimental uniforms. Don Domingos Borgos de Barras, the Chamberlain—an egregious old ass, enters to announces that he received a dispatch which announces that the Ambassador in Rio, the wealthy Don Januario Pernambuco begs her Majesty to let him send his nephew, Don Mauritio—a young seaman — to be enrolled as a Midshipmen in the Naval School so that he may be cured of his evil propensities.
Lamberto and Fanchette do meet, and the little actress tells her old flame of the spirited adventures she has met with and the cause of her flight from Paris and her presence in Lisbon. Lamberto, now a married man, is confounded and alarmed and entreats Fanchette to quit her love of him. Don Januario is announced and enters, where he meets Fanchette, with whom he is immensely struck. Lamberto has sought the assistance of Donna Antonia, the wife of Don Domingos, to take Fanchette away from the palace, but the young Parisian actress makes up her mind to stay.
This all happens just as a cozy supper is prepared for Lamberto and his wife, the Queen, but alas, Fanchette is still there, and can’t be found out. So she takes the personage of Don Mauritio, the good for nothing nephew; but Januario, struck by his/her likeness to Fanchette, pesters him/her with attention, and gets his ears boxed for his pains. Infuriated at the insult, Januario challenges the supposed Don Mauritio to fight.
The wrathful Lamberto induces Captain Norberto to take up the quarrel, and (with the promise of promotion in the service), to allow himself to be wounded by Fanchette. This is done, and Fanchette’s new fame as a man killer make Januario more intrigued. The Queen enters and receives the account of Don Mauritio’s (Fanchette’s) prows most graciously, and the Royal Chess Tournament is played in the assembled Court. The young Don Mauritio grows in high favor with the Queen, but terrible accounts of the real Don Mauritio’s pranks reach the palace, and just at this time Fanchette, attending her Majesty on horseback, is so fortunate as to save her life, and is therefore in gratitude ennobled and made a Knight of the Golden Fleece.
The Queen and Don Januario ply the fake Don Mauritio (Fanchette) with honors, including and a large amount of gold pistoles. These extraordinary favors serve Lamberto as an excuse for an attitude of mock jealousy towards his wife and Queen, a bit of play into which Fanchette in her disguise enters with great gusto; but she accepts, nevertheless, Don Januario and his millions. The Royal marriage