The King’s Command, or The Pupils of Dupré

Grand Ballet in two acts
Music by  Johann Strauss II, Léo Delibes, Daniel Auber, Jules Massenet & Anton Rubinstein, in a pastiche adapted by Albert Vizentini

World Première
26th February [O.S. 14th February] 1886
Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg

Original 1886 Cast
Pepita
Virginia Zucchi

Marquino
Pavel Gerdt

Dupré
Enrico Cecchetti

Milon
Lev Ivanov

Première of Petipa’s first revival
12th December [O.S. 30th November] 1887
Imperial Mariinsky Theatre

Original 1887 Cast
Pepita
Virginia Zucchi

Marquino
Pavel Gerdt

Dupré
Enrico Cecchetti

Première of Petipa’s second revival
26th February [O.S. 14th February] 1900
Hermitage Theatre

Original 1900 Cast
Violette
Olga Preobrazhenskaya

Vestris
Nikolai Legat

Dupré
Alexander Shiryaev

King Louis XIV of France
Pavel Gerdt

Marie Camargo
Pierina Legnani

The Count of Montignac
Lev Ivanov

Plot
After an audience with the King, the Count is supposed to present his son at court. As he only has four daughters, he decides to pretend Marquino, the lover of the servant girl Pepita, is his son. Two hidalgos are courting the Count’s daughters, who give them a cool response, as they are already in love with others. After discovering these young men have sneaked into the house, the Countess takes her daughters off to a convent. Led by Pepita, the young men use cunning to carry the girls away, but Marquino is caught by the police. A duke helps the young avoid punishment for the abduction. The King forgives everyone on condition that the Count agrees all four weddings and presents his daughters’ husbands, his sons-in-law, to him. The knavish Marquino gets the hand of Pepita and a dowry.

Pavel Gerdt as Marquino (1886)
Pavel Gerdt as Marquino (1886)