May 19, 2000
The Lost Dauphin
Composer:Gordon Parmentier
Librettist:Gordon Parmentier
In the early 1820s Eleazer Williams, an Episcopal missionary, accompanies a tribe of Oneida Indians from New York state to Green Bay, Wisconsin. On a reservation ceded to them by the U.S. Government and now called Oneida, a mission and school were established. A few years later, an article appeared in ^Harper's` magazine about the escape from the Conciergerie Prison in Paris of the little French Dauphin, Louis XVII, son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The article explained how the child was removed in a clothes hamper from the prison, smuggled out of France by Royalists and brought to Thomas Williams in St. Regis, New York, where he was raised. Reaction to the article eventually reached France. Eleazer Williams, or Lazar as the Indians called him, was believed to be this French Dauphin. Louis Philippe, now emperor of France, sent his son, the Prince de Joinville, to investigate. Lazar was startled by the news. His ambitions and his behavior toward his Indian followers caused much dissension and hatred. His plan to move the tribe westward to join other tribes into an empire, making himself Emperor, was thwarted by the Oneidas and the U.S. Government. He was driven out of the mission and returned to New York a broken man. The mystery of his true heritage remains unsolved. However, there is much evidence suggesting he might have been the "Lost Dauphin."

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)

Number of Acts

Musical Style
Impressionistic style incorporating folk music of the Oneida Indian nation

Vocal & Musical Forces
Singers: 14 principal roles, 6 secondary roles; 2 mixed choruses: 40; Indian Oneida Folk Group: 16

Original Cast
John Hage, Tara Venditti

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