This is the story of Maximilian and Charlotte of Habsburg and their short-lived Mexican Empire.
Although this story is full of emperors, empresses, noble ladies and generals, it is not really about them. Nor is it about their passions, their loves, their hate, their greed or their insanity.
This is, in the first place, a play about politics, and you will find that politics in the 19th century weren't all that different from politics today. Puppet rulers, cooked elections, well-meaning but incompetent men spreading disaster and the ruthless hunt for minerals and new markets will sound familiar to everyone. This is what interested me in this story, and what makes it relevant to us, who live 150 years later, and must conclude that people still suffer because of the drive that makes the wheels turn: ambition.
Therefore, the main character is not really Charlotte, nor is it Maximilian, Louis-Napoleon or Almonte. In fact, the lead doesn't even have any lines. It doesn't speak, and it certainly doesn't sing. It doesn't even move a muscle to do it's fateful work. All it does is simply being there.
Disguised as a crown.
A Serpentine Crown.
Marcel Wick, 2010.
"l'Entrée dans Mexico" by J.A.Beauce