These two short plays and an opera libretto were penned by one of the greatest French writers, Voltaire. In AGATHOCLES the two sons of the King of Syracuse (Agathocles) strive for the hand of the same girl, and the elder is killed by the younger. The ruler can only avenge his loss by sacrificing his remaining son--but doing so would mean the end of his dynasty. THE DUKE OF ALENCON tells a similar tale in medieval France. Two princely brothers, Alencon and Nemours, both love Adelaide- their murderous rage for each other threatens to tear the country apart.
Tragedy is only averted through the action of a servant who loves them both. In THE TWO WINE CASKS, a spurned priest of Bacchus switches the wine cups at a wedding to avenge himself on the woman he loves, whos marrying another. The enchanted vintage makes her hate her husband-to-be. Three great dramas of jealousy and its corrosive effects on the relations between men and women.