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Well, it's interesting looking at the literature. Both Parker (in Sadie) and Budden, Vol. 3 use "Deputies" in the list of characters. Charles Osborne's "The Complete Operas of Verdi" uses both "deputation" and "envoys" in his description of Act 3, Sc. 2: "The King descends the cathedral steps to join the procession, a deputation from Flanders, led by Carlo, appears. The envoys kneel before Philip...." (p. 356). In the libretto accompanying the Giulini/Domingo/Caballe etc. CDs when they sing, the group is named (in the English ext) as "Deputies" but alongside it in the French text column it is "Les Envoyés".
To the extent that the Flemish group act as envoys from Flanders to present a case to the King, the use of that term makes sense. Viva-Verdi (talk) 21:09, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you - I did check first to see that someone uses the word (I found Osborne) before putting my first comment, although it is not the most commonly used. Cg2p0B0u8m (talk) 21:30, 4 January 2014 (UTC)