Several prestigious guests have been staying at The Golden Lily Hotel and Spa on their way to the coronation of Charles X, in Reims. The day of the coronation has finally arrived, and the hotel is alive with the preparations for this grand journey. During their stay, the travellers have got to know each other’s particular quirks, and have formed new friendships and relationships. But all of this drama could not prepare them for some tragic news: there are no horses available to pull their coach to Reims. Their plans will have to be abandoned.
The company are quickly saved from despair by a letter from Paris, which informs them that the new King will be heading to Paris shortly after the coronation, so anyone who missed the great event can join in the festivities there. Overjoyed at this news, and with money to spare, the travellers decide to hold a grand banquet at the hotel instead. A travelling troupe of dancers are brought in to perform during the celebrations, and each traveller performs a toast from their homeland, in a celebration of grandeur, splendor, culture, and, of course, France.
Rossini’s rather underappreciated opera Il viaggio a Reims has some of the most challenging vocal writing of any of his operas which, combined with this sitcom-like farce offers a really entertaining show, on a par with many of his other more well-known operas, such as The Barber of Seville.