Show Photographs

34th Festival Season - 2012


Music by Oscar Straus
English Libretto by Stanislaus Stange
Original German libretto by Rudolf Bernauer and Leopold Jacobson

ACT I: Bulgaria is at war with Serbia. Aurelia Popoff, her daughter Nadina, and Nadina's cousin Mascha agree that it is a hopeless situation when the men are off at the front. Nadina muses about her handsome fiance, the heroic Major Alexius Spiridoff, but, before she falls asleep, a soldier climbs into her room from the balcony. He identifies himself as Lieutenant Bumerli, a Swiss mercenary fighting for the Serbs and now fleeing from a Bulgarian captain whose ears he boxed. Outraged, Nadina threatens to shoot him with his own revolver, but he tells her that there are no cartridges in his ammunition pouch - only chocolates. He further irritates her by mocking the battlefield conduct of Alexius. Nevertheless, she sympathizes with his desire to live and hides him when Captain Massakroff and his soldiers come to search her room for a Serbian spy seen recently on the terrace. Nadina deceives the soldiers, but not Mascha and Aurelia, who are delighted to have a man in the house. Nadina and Mascha offer Bumerli food and drink, and Aurelia lends him her husband's bathrobe. Bumerli falls asleep in Nadina's bed, and the three women - pleased with their guest - agree to keep this romantic encounter a secret.
ACT II: The following spring, Colonel Kasimir Popoff and Alexius return home to celebrate the Bulgarian victory and the impending wedding of Nadina and Alexius. Nadina begins to have doubts about her egotistical fiance, with whom the mischievous Mascha flirts. Colonel Popoff tells of encountering a Swiss mercenary who talked of climbing into a Bulgarian lady's bedroom and then escaping wearing the bathrobe of her father. To the consternation of the women, Bumerli arrives to return the Colonel's bathrobe. Their anger intensifies when Nadina and Mascha confess that they slipped their signed photographs into the pockets of the bathrobe. With Bumerli's help, they prevent the Colonel from finding the photographs, although the Colonel and Alexius are suspicious about the women's behavior. Bumerli declares his love for Nadina, but she is incensed to discover that the photograph she retrieved was actually Mascha's photograph. Arriving for the wedding, Massakroff identifies Bumerli as the man seen on Nadina's balcony months before, and Mascha compounds the difficulties by showing Alexius the photograph Nadina had inscribed for Bumerli. Alexius denounces Nadina in front of the wedding guests, as Bumerli yearns for her and Mascha yearns for Alexius.
ACT III: The next day Nadina tells Bumerli that she despises him, but that she is impressed by the readiness with which he accepts Alexius' challenge to a duel. Colonel Popoff, wanting amends for the disgrace to his daughter, insists that Bumerli become his son-in-law and is delighted to learn that Bumerli is far wealthier than any Bulgarian aristocrat. Alexius, now engaged to Mascha, calls off the duel, and Nadina accepts her chocolate soldier.

Production Team
DirectorSteven Daigle
ConductorJ. Lynn Thompson
ChoreographyCarol Hageman
Costume DesignAmber Marisa Cook
Scenic DesignC. Murdock Lucas
Lighting DesignErich R. Keil
Nadina Popoff, daughter of Colonel PopoffTara Sperry
Aurelia Popoff, her motherSandra Ross
Mascha, Nadina's cousinCaroline Miller
Lieutenant Bumerli, the 'Chocolate Soldier' - Swiss mercenary - Serbian armyNicholas Wuehrmann
Captain Massakroff, of the Bulgarian armyGeoffrey Kannenberg
Louka, Popoff's servantMalia French
Stephan, Popoff's servantChristopher Cobbett
Colonel Kasimir Popoff, of the Bulgarian armyBoyd Mackus
Major Alexius Spiridoff, of the Bulgarian Army - engaged to NadinaAndrew Maughan
Ensemble: Natalie Ballenger, Brad Baron, Justin Berkowitz, Ezra Bershatsky, John Callison, Christopher Cobbett, Alexa Devlin, Adam Fieldson, Malia French, Mary Griffith, Matthew Hill, Alisha Hocking, Danielle McCormick Knox, Benjamin Krumreig, Amy Maples, Bethany Marty, Olivia Maughan, Zackery Morris, Brooke Morrison, Suzanne Oberdorfer, Nathan Owen, Allison Schumaker, Kimberly Sibilia, Jarrett Smith, Ruby White