(1310-02-26) A Night at the Opera
Summary: The final performance of 'la femme ecarlate' at the Opera House is apparently well received, acquaintances are made, and a pale maiden's hand is kissed by a commoner bard - most certainly to the dismay of her mother.
RL Date: 03/18/2018
Related: A Suitable Gift, Tea for Two and Engagement of a Bard.
clementine pierre louis_npc lysander armandine ortolette magalie 

Auditorium - Opera - Marsilikos

The auditorium, the heart of l'Opera Marsilikos, is as opulent as the foyer. Seating in the stalls and circle is upholstered in tones of crushed grape and gold, this matching the safety curtains of the stage and the draperies wound about gilded stucco columns. Several private boxes are available for those that are willing to pay for the privacy and better views of the stage that sitting within one provides, though the grandest of these is reserved for the Ducal family and favoured guests, easily recognised by the de Mereliot Crest it displays. Chandeliers glitter against a backdrop of a night-painted ceiling, and further illumination is provided by crystal sconces affixed to the walls.

"Bravo!" "Encore!" "ENCORE!"

The enthralled silence with which the final lines of the play were met, is broken by the applause that erupts for the company of players as they step forward to take their final bows on the closing performance of 'la Femme Ecarlate'. It is deafening. The audience rise to their feet as one and, linking hands, the company of players bow once more and then step back behind the falling curtains.

It is done.

Within the box that Clémentine had reserved for herself, the Duc de Trevalion and a carefully hand-picked selection of guests that have been chosen for particular reasons, laughter that's mingled with an immediate dissection of the play they've watched, erupts. "And I thought that I would near die laughing when she put it on his head!" "And that bit when she…" "… and he!" Voices chitter and chatter as those present turn to their companions and exclaim on what they've seen, whilst to the rear of the box, draperies are pulled to one side to admit a three burdened staff dressed in the colours of the opera house. They bear trays of fine red Kusheline wine, and platters of honeyed fruits, cheeses and treats. Clémentine sparkles brightly where she sits beside the duc, her glorious hair caught with burnished silver pins into waves and curls that cascade from the crown of her head to the nape of her neck. They say that redheads should never wear red; but Clémentine wears it, and wears it well. A dark velvet gown that falls to the floor in easy folds where she sits with her head tilted in the direction of the duc, easy conversation flowing between them. She helps herself to two of the glasses of wine when they're offered, passing one to the duc before clinking rims and taking a mouthful of her own.

Pierre Delaunay took to the play like a fish in water, appearing to have enjoyed every single moment of it. A connoisseur perhaps, in well written scripts and well acted situations appears to have had him on the edge of his seat for most of the play. He has dressed himself in his finest black doublet with dark purple trimmings and a pair of finely cut black breeches. There is no House insignia on his clothing, but he does wear a gold ring on his right hands ring finger. It sports the Delaunay crest of the winged reptile. Here There Be Dragons, indeed! Having been invited to the Box by Clémentine, the minor noble turned merchant sits on a chair behind her and the Duc as is only right, but now that the play is over and the applaus begin to die down, he prepares to stand. Perhaps, in this aftermath, introductions are in order! He does have his sights set on the Duc and his Lady companion after all!

The Duc Louis de Trevalion isn't the only guest of ducal status in the opera tonight, apparently! When the Lady of Marsilikos had elected to accompany her daughter Ortolette to this particular final performance herself! Even if the Duchesse of Eisande and her retinue had enjoyed the piece in her own 'ducal' box, with her second oldest daughter and the guest from abroad, Lady Magalie Iskareios from Hellas. Once the curtains had come down, Armandine de Mereliot gave an ecstatic applause, tilting her head a little to towards Ortolette with a smile. "A good thing, you decided to come here tonight." And have her come along, loving mother that Armandine is. "You are alright?" Motherly concern laces the duchesse's tone, the look she gives her frail blonde daughter affectionate and kind.

Not too far from where Ortolette and Armandine are seated, the dark-haired Hellene lady of ambassador status brings her hands together for a moderately enthusiastic applause. "It was… an interesting piece," Magalie declares towards the Duchesse, her gaze following the look of Armandine towards Ortolette. "I think the diversion of the evening is good for her.", she offers, dark eyes flashing with a warmth that may be taken as Mediterranean.

Ortolette has made it to the finale performance of La Femme, and, having ascended slowly and gingerly into her mother's box, under her supervision, oh, hasn't she been wrapped up in the drama? Sitting at the fore of the box, she is a vision from below in her fine, pale green gown with the flat band of pink embroidery across her chest and the folds of silk billowing from above the level of her lowest rib— the style of a child not yet possessed of any curves worth accentuating. With her hair all up in a thick braid which circles her temples like a crown of gold, she bares her narrow, pale neck, her frail shoulders, veins of blue just visible from the surface making her seem to have been carved from marble. Gloves rise to mid-upper-arm, hugging her narrow limbs as she eases her elbow against the railing before her, leaning onto her fingers and smiling sort of goofily through the sillier portions of the plot, her doe-like eyes tearing up at the more touching portions, her whole self entirely devoted to the piece through to its final moment, when, breathless, she claps, the noise muted behind her gloves, but she's too shy to yell out, to hoot, holler or cheer. She doesn't stand, but, then, nobody much expected her to. She does turn her head to her mother and bobble her head in a girlish affirmation, "Ah, oui, maman. Wasn't it a lovely little play?"

Lysander slips into the box where the Duc de Trevalion resides, and perhaps he has been in pursuit of the lovely Clémentine. Having performed in one of the supporting roles, the handsome actor may not have made a big impression, and yet, no one shoos him away, as he sits down not too far from the lovely Clémentine nó Trevalion, after offering the perfect courteous bow to all present. "Ah… it is over.", he sighs, softly, his voice as pleasant as easy on the ears now as it had been dramatic and commanding of attention while he was still on the stage. And with a smile he accepts a glass of wine from an attendant, his eyes sparkling as he clearly enjoys the very noble company in the box.

Clémentine has been well aware of Pierre since the moment that she'd greeted him earlier in the evening, though with the necessity of having to play the part of the dutiful host to her other guests during the half-time interval, she's not had the opportunity to speak further with him. "To another successful run, and a toast to the next," she smiles to the Duc, her glass just touching to his, as with a tilt of her head, she turns it enough to encompass both Pierre and the newly arrived Lysander with that warmth. "And see now, Your Grace. Here are two men that you simply must meet. Might I introduce the Lord Pierre Delaunay, a merchant of our city. My Lord Delaunay, His Grace, the Sovereign Duc de Trevalion." Rubies glitter where earrings dance at her ears, and she extends one hand to beckon one of the servers bearing glasses of wine in their direction. She's noted that Pierre has claimed none for himself, so she intends to do so for him. A dip of her head to Lysander, and she motions for him to stand once more and to bring himself over. "And this…" she says, slowing her introduction to coincide with his arrival, "Is Monsieur Lysander Beaufort. He was a member of the Company that so wonderfully entertained us, but now is a permanent part of the theatre. Lysander, this is His Grace, the Sovereign Duc de Trevalion." Well that's all gone reasonably well, and taking that second glass of wine, she offers it over to Pierre.

Having risen from his chair, Pierre accepts a glass of wine as well, after having smoothed out his breeches and his doublet. Can't have any crinkles or creases when you are to meet a Duc! Not to mention the Ducs current company; the very reason he was invited to this booth to begin with. Once the que to be introduced is put out there by Clémentine, he approaches the chairs where the two are seated and, once there, lifts his hand up to his mouth and clears his throat. He executes a bow in greeting, "My Duc Trevalion. It is an absolute honour to meet you. I hope you enjoyed the play? I found it to be quite a tease of the mind, especially during the closing scenes of the first act." he pauses then, his eyes turning to Clémentine, "Mademoiselle Clémentine, it is an absolute delight to meet you once more. I can not thank you enough to inviting me to attend the play this evening."

To see her own flesh and blood that had been struggling with her health once again cheerful and in so very good spirits warms the heart of a mother, and how would it be different with Armandine. Even the Lady of Marsilikos is susceptible to the simple pleasures, of watching Ortolette take enjoyment from the performance, taking delight in an evening out of the Palace, for once. "Oh, it was, ma belle," she smiles, replying to Ortolette's question. Even as her gaze seems to catch how Clémentine elects to seek the box of the Trevalion Duc - a duc she perhaps needs to have a word or two with herself. "We should congratulate the wonderful Mademoiselle Clémentine nó Trevalion," she murmurs, and moving to stand waits for the other two to join her. "I am sure you would like to come along!"

Lysander hears his name mentioned by Clémentine - of course! - and quickly stands and approaches. "A pleasure, Your Grace!", he intones with all the confidence of a seasoned actor, an easy smile curving his lips as he bows again, looking from Clémentine's benefactor to Pierre Delaunay. "I'm glad that my steps have led me to Marsilikos, and I certainly plan to stay." The applause may have added to his confidence, and besides, being in the company of such high ranking nobility can certainly only be inspiring to a commoner such as he.

Ortolette is seldom not struggling with her health, in some manner or another. The poor dear was hardly expected to outlive her first years on this good earth; but between a certain optimistic tenacity and the skill laid in the hands of Her people by Eisheth Herself, she has somehow managed thus far, and, look, she rises when bidden, with perhaps a hint of a fawn-like falter, but then dips into a curtsey, lowering her chin obediently to her mother's word. "Oh, yes, may we?" she sounds excited, in her small-voiced manner. And the Hellene woman, whom she only some days ago asked to accompany her, "Anassa Magalie, I pray the play has pleased you well," she goes on, holding out her hand to take the one of Magalie's not occupied by ehr cane and press it sweetly along with her prayer, her other hand moving to sweep her bountiful silks taut before her, lest she trip over the hem as she moves to follow her mother down from her box.

"Ah Le Marchand. I have been told much of you," the Duc says, his voice husked and faint. Weakened. There have been rumours that have done the rounds of how his health is failing, and his appearance would give no lie to them. His complexion is greyed, though the upright carriage he'd borne well through his sixties and into his seventies has not yet abandoned him. He still conveys the aura of one whom demands respect, and there's steel in his eyes when they meet with Pierre's. "I enjoyed the tea which Mademoiselle Clémentine purchased from you, I hope that you may be able to provide us with more. It is not so easy a thing to bring in tea all the way from Ch'in." A cough forces him to halt, and Clémentine is quick to press a hand to his arm and to offer him a clean square of cotton cloth to lift to his mouth. Her nod is quick in response to what he's said. "I do believe that I shall be placing a larger order with you, Pierre," she continues on where the Duc has left off, filling the void that the coughing has left. "And yes, Lysander. Marsilikos and myself are so very happy that your steps led you here. We hope that your stay will be long."

As sure as a rock giving purchase to the ever present tide Magalie offers her arm to Ortolette in a gesture that comes with natural fluidity. "The piece was quite diverting," the Hellene woman offers to the frail blonde, with a certain motherly tinge to her voice, and how swiftly she stood, even if needing a cane for support. "And I cannot wait to meet the delightful Madame Clémentine, and whoever else may be over there." In the other box.

Pierre pulls himself up a bit more to this offer by the Duc Trevalion and his head once more dips forward in a slight bow, "Your Grace, you are far too generous. I am but a humble merchant. However, I am but a humble servant with very good connections where it comes to dealing in rare goods, such as tea from Ch'in for example." he puts on a light smile to this, "But you are quite correct, Your Grace. Importing tea from such a far away distance is wrought with dangers and quite often, your goods never make it to port. Which is the main reason such goods fetch such a high price. But the good people of Ch'in certainly know their tea leaves." he agrees, "I shall inquire as to when another shipment of leaves can be acquired and, once I have that secured, I shall send a missive to your Estates with a generous offer." he looks then to Lysander, "Ah, Monsieur Lysander. I shall look forward to seeing you in further plays. You are sure to offer a striking presence upon the stage."

Ortolette takes hold of Magalie's hand as sweetly as she would any of her sisters', a merry brightness taking her eyes when the latter seems to have enjoyed herself; it's all she can hope, after inviting her here. She lets La Mere proceed ahead, turning, herself, to face Clémentine's box from across the way and lift her free hand in a merry wave to let her know they're on their respective ways. With Magalie, she will take her time, managing the stairs one at a time with a pause for each to make sure the both of them are steady in their footing. "I did not realize it was to be this much of a comedy," she makes a little conversation on the way. "I'm embarrassed to have arrived so ill-informed."

The door to the box opens once again, and this time Armandine de Mereliot enters, her eyes a bright blue as she lets her gaze wander in time with her greetings. "Mademoiselle Clémentine! How delightful a time I had in attending this very entertaining performance! And guess who lured me here - my own daughter." Her gaze flits to the door where Ortolette will most hopefully enter with Magalie, before the Duchesse crosses the distance and takes both hands of Clémentine into her own. "What a treasure you have made of the opera. I look forward to more you will be able to stage here, indeed, I am!" Tonight was the final performance of this particular piece, and so the duchesse had greeted Clémentine before all others. To the Duc de Trevalion she looks next, and yes, the curtsey she offers to him, all amiable and graceful, should repay him for any potential slight taken. "Your Grace! What a lovely protege you have under your wing, I can only thank you for handing her the reigns for this lovely theatre! And how lovely it is to see you. You look well." A polite lie, but offered with a very fetching smile. Others would need to be introduced to her, but so far Armandine will wait until her daughter and Magalie have caught up with her.

Lysander inclines his hand with a gratified smile to Pierre, a hand even moving to touch slightly below his collarbone, as to make more of a show of the gesture. People of the theatre, actors in general, so easily flattered by words they so love to hear! Even so, when Armandine enters, the commoner backs away a little, in awe, as even he knows who the woman must be.

The Duc grunts his approval to Pierre once his coughing subsides, his eyes cutting briefly to Clémentine as he tucks the cloth square she'd handed him away and into a pocket. The astute might note the flecks of blood in the spittle that's been mopped away, though tucked away and out of sight, it's easily forgotten as he reaches for Clémentine's hand, folding it neatly within his own. It's Lysander he next addresses. "My Songbird has an eye and an ear for those with talent, make wise use of the opportunity afforded you."

Clémentine's lips twitch with the casual praise that's given her, and leaning forward to place her glass back upon the tray of a server, she catches the wave that's offered by Ortolette, a mere moment or two before the Duchesse herself arrives. "Your Grace…" She's quick to her feet, her curtsey aptly performed before her hands are clasped within Armandine's. A fetching wash of colour rises to her cheeks, and her laughter is bright as she looks between her and the Duc. "l'Opera Marsilikos is blessed whenever you attend a performance, Your Grace. And…" A quick smile to Ortolette, "… we count ourselves fortunate that Lady Ortolette favours us too." She does look to Magalie where she enters with Ortolette, but yes… introductions will follow. And soon.

Acknowledged by the Duc after introductions and the offer of tea spoken about briefly, the time has come for Pierre to not impose himself too long upon the ailing Duc Trevalion. He turns instead his head to follow the movements of Clémentine as she approaches the Duchess Marsilikos. One does not always know beforehand whom are in attendance of a certain play and to find the Duchess here has the minor noble to take a step closer, but not too close, as to wait for his chance to be introduced. He checks his clothing once more, to make sure that there are no errant creases or folds where there should be none. And then a quick sip of his wine, to moisten and tease his palette a few moments.

From where he stands back now, Lysander still offers a deferent bow to the Duc de Trevalion for his kind words, the wide grin adorning his already quite handsome features giving away how much he enjoys this, to accept congratulations and positive remarks after having his moment in the limelight, so to speak. And yet, he observes the ease and informality with which the Songbird of Marsilikos moves among these high ranking nobles with effortless ease.

Ortolette is a little breathless, a reedy wheezing whistling in her airways when she finally draws herself up and into the box in which all of Clémentine's guests were settled. A server offers her a draught but she hold up her free hand in abstention, only taking a moment, tarrying with Magalie in the rear of the box to catch her breath and let the red flush drain from her cheeks. But the smile from Clémentine draws her forward, "Mam'm'selle Clémentine!" Tender voice still laced with wheezing, but enthusiastic, despite all of that, she advances upon Clémentine while her mother proceeds to the Duc. "What a triumph. I am blessed to have been able to attend. Do meet our cherished palace guest, Anassa Magalie Iskareios, an ambassador from among the Hellenes," she makes introduction using the Hellene honorific, voice growing the stronger the more she wields it. "Anassa Magalie, here is Mademoiselle Clémentine nó Trevalion, who has brought this opera life and all Marsilikos grand diversion. We lovers of culture are all much in her debt," she adds with a gleam of a smile in her wide eyes, which then flees with the spark of a sudden thought. "May I plead a boon, Ma'm'selle?" she asks of Clémentine.

"I had not the slightest idea, of what this play would be about," Magalie replies to Ortolette, a little amused even. "And I found myself well entertained. Either you have undeniable taste even in things you don't know, or… the actors and staff have put an extra effort in to make your attendance worthwhile." Stepping right in after Ortolette, the dark-haired foreigner looks to Armandine, before she takes the liberty of introducing herself. Or rather, is about to. When Ortolette steps forth and decides to handle introductions, Magalie looks impressed and keeps her silence until the young Mereliot is done. "Thank you so much, Lady Ortolette." Her dark eyes shift towards Clémentine. "Mademoiselle, I am very impressed with what you have achieved here. In Hellas it is not as common for a woman to run a theatre. To witness such, is quite the inspiration."

"You flatter me before your honoured guest, my lady," Clémentine laughs to Ortolette, sketching a lovely curtsey when introduced to Magalie. "It is a delight to have you here in the theatre, Anassa Magalie, and I hope that you have occasion to visit us here many times in the future. But a boon, you say? Plead even? How could I refuse. But first…" A smile to Pierre where he lurks closeby. "Let me make an introduction of my own to someone you may well find as intriguing as I. Might I introduce Lord Pierre Delaunay, a merchant of Marsilikos. Lord Delaunay, this is the Lady Ortolette, the second daughter of the Duchesse d'Eisande, and her companion Anassa Magalie Iskareios, an ambassador from the Hellenes." She gives the full introductions, despite the fact that Pierre might well have overheard it first time around since he stands so near. "And also, you should make acquaintance with Monsieur Lysander, for he is to be First Bard here at the theatre. Perhaps you recognise him from his performance in the play?" Bright eyes flit to where Armandine now engages the Duc in conversations of their own, and concern briefly touches the planes of her face.

Was that wine in Pierre's hand? Oh, not it was not. It is in fact water in his glass, having thanked the server but having then turned down that glass of Kusheline vintage. It is quite a trick of the mind, though, to think someone took a glass of wine when he did not. So taking another light sip from his water, Pierre then puts the glass to the side as he decides that now is the time to make his presence more pronounced when Clémentine takes care of that issue for him, "Mademoiselle Clémentine certainly knows how to run a Theatre," he agrees with Magalie, "Her force of presence is quite matched by her skills as a leader." he offers as praise. He puts his right hand to his chest, giving a light bow; the Delaunay ring made sure to be prominent in show, "It is a pleasure to meet you both. My Lady Ortolette. Ambassador." he inclines his head to them both, "I am indeed a merchant and an importer of rare goods from far away lands."

The First Bard steps forth, when Clémentine elects to announce him as such, Lysander already seeking the spotlight again, or just the light of attention, even if the duchesse and the duc seem to be engaged in low conversation. "Mademoiselle Clémentine! I shall be ever grateful for you giving me that chance," he declares with all the theatrical momentum as if he were still on stage. And yet, the flicker of a smile, and the wink he gives her add a slightly more personal note to the remark.

But first! It is a regular flurry of introductions between the lot of them, but Ortolette is a patient sort of maiden — perforce, perchance, by dint of her less than hardy constitution. The familiar way she hurried to Clémentine grows shy and reserved when Pierre makes his presence better felt, and the slip of a Lady flitters into a curtsey which she holds, eyes downcast, a respectable moment, before rising with a demure, "My Lord," in the aftermath of the greeting. Then it's the powerful presence of the bard that sets the maiden back a step, color draining from her already pallid complexion, doll-like lips parted as though star-struck. "Ah, oui!" she squeaks a little bit. "It was a memorable performance, Monsieur. It is no wonder Ma'm'selle Clémentine has sought to retain you," that said with a glance back to the former, in order to include her in the conversation. "I had hoped I may come away from here with a copy of La Femme's script for my library, that I might peruse it at leisure and be able to consider the artistry of the words in more detail. And," a flicker of a glance back to the newly appointed First Bard, "Perchance it may e'en be signed by the cast?" she bites shyly at the side of her lower lip.

"A merchant and importer of goods," Magalie echoes, her dark eyes closing in on Pierre Delaunay. "Perhaps… We should talk some time about possible ventures, my lord." The cane upon which she leans is almost forgotten through the ease with which she comports herself - and seems to master the d'Angeline language so well. An educated woman, she must be! There is a slight flicker there in her expression as she lowers her gaze - just in the moment the actor steps forth and tries to make the box his personal stage. The smile that adorns the ripe features of Magalie appears a little forced, and yet she remains silent.

Laughter is Ortolette's reply from Clémentine, and she reaches for one of the pallid maiden's hands, and presses it gently between her own. "I am quite certain that this is within my power to grant you, my lady. In fact…" She turns to Lysander. "You could perhaps ensure that my lady's request is granted?" She allows the full warmth of her smile to settle upon the young bard, before turning once more back to the conversation. If she notes any discomfort about the way in which Magalie conducts herself, she makes no commentary upon it, but chooses instead to press a hand lightly to Pierre's arm. "See how the Companions smile upon the last night of the Company's performance of La Femme? I am so very glad that you were able to join us." She speaks no doubt of some important connections that have been made, and a curious look is given the glass of water in Pierre's hand before her own, of wine, is lifted to her lips.

Now, isn't that a lovely reaction to his remark that was outwardly directed at Clémentine but in fact meant to draw attention to his person! Lysander cannot resist, when Ortolette squeaks with excitement, and such a lovely little blonde thing that she is, he steps towards her and snatches one of her pale hands to lift it where his lips can brush over her knuckles in an oh so gallant kiss. "My lady, I assure you, I'll be too happy to add my signature…" His brows furrowing so very handsomely, the first bard straightens and has a heart to let go of Ortolette's hand, catching a rather probing glance from her mother, the Lady of Marsilikos.

Pierre turns his steady gaze upon the Hellena Ambassador after which he gives a brief nod of his head, "It would be my pleasure to do so, Ambassador. I have a modest office here in Marsilikos but I would be more then happy to host talks there, if it be in your pleasure to do so." The prospect of future business relations has the minor noble turned Merchant appear to be rather energised! But no more so then having Clémentine at his side, her hand on his arm distracting him from the Ambassador. His head turns to her, "You are quite right, Mademoiselle Clémentine." he replies to her, "You have outdone yourself in this final execution of their performance. I can not thank you enough for inviting me to attend." he lifts his glass of water up, in a light offer of a private toast with the woman before he too takes a sip from his glass.

It's all very chaste, that brush of a kiss, since Ortolette's fingers are all encased in her glistening silk gloves. But still, the wisp of a girl is much moved by the powerful performer's advance, and she wavers just slightly, as though about to yield to the throes of a faint, until that stare from her mother scares off the lips from her glove and she recovers herself back to Mademoiselle Clémentine's side with a carefully polite-fluttering, "Oh, how very kind!" rendered up to both of them while she heeds the lattermost part of the Lord Merchant's interaction with her Hellene guest. "The waterways will be opening again soon, will they not?" she pipes up. "Where will you go next, my Lord? And under what name does your vessel sail, that I may listen for news of it?"

The Duc de Trevalion is caught by another fit of coughing, interrupting the conversation he'd been having with Armandine. Clémentine is quick to look over, and noticing him looking her way, she excuses herself from the others and takes herself over to him. "My dear, I am tired." He offers his arm. It's a given that Clémentine will slip her's through his, but not before a deep curtsey is given the Duchess. "It was good to see you again, Your Grace. Better still to have seen the Lady Ortolette out and about and enjoying an upturn in her health." There might be further words between the Duc and Armandine, but eventually the pair will wind their way through the lingering guests and beyond the draperies, disappearing from sight hen they fall back into place behind them.

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