Fra Diavolo, or The Banditti of the Abrouzes
The original text
A horseback event, it was originally performed at the Circus Theatre of Paris, to music by Guerroluch, and deals with the twenty-nine days' chase of the elusive guerilla leader/brigand Fra Diavolo (lit. "Brother Devil") by Colonel Hugo (the father of Victor Hugo) and his ultimate capture and execution. Actually named Michele Pezza (1771–1806), and depending on the source, he was either soldier turned guerilla fighter and patriot, at least in the eyes of Italians, or he was a brigand who was made into a hero by his exploits.
Pezza figures prominently in Italian and French folk lore and fiction. He appears in several works of Alexandre Dumas for example, including The Last Cavalier, and Washington Irving's short story "The Inn at Terracina". The most famous stage version was the French opéra-comique by Daniel-François-Esprit Auber and Eugène Scribe, called Fra Diavolo ou l’Hôtellerie de Terracine, which was first performed on 28 January, 1830 in the Opéra-Comique in Paris, and many times afterwards, in many languages.
South African performances
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fra_Diavolo http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/21st-january-1865/17/brigandage-in-south-italy-the-belief-long-cherishe https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica/Brigandage https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fra_Diavolo_(opera)