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35th Festival Season - 2013
THE GRAND DUCHESS OF GEROLSTEIN
Music by Jacques Offenbach
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy
English Translation & Adaptation by Arthur Roberts
ACT I: The army of Gerolstein is about to leave for the front, and Wanda has come to bid goodbye to Private Fritz. General MacBoom objects to a woman in the camp, though his interest in Wanda is clearly stronger than his concern for regulations. In conversation with MacBoom, Baroness Ann, aunt to the Grand Duchess, reveals that the war has been declared only to keep the Duchess' mind occupied so that she and MacBoom can retain control of the Duchy. It seems that the Duchess is more interested in war than in her suitor, Prince Paul, who has been trying unsuccessfully to attract her interest for six months. The Grand Duchess enters to review her regiment. Fritz catches her eye, and she quickly promotes him through the ranks to captain, much to the dismay of MacBoom and the Baroness. When Captain Fritz sneers at MacBoom's battle plan, the Baroness and MacBoom object that a captain has no right to criticize a general, whereupon the Duchess promotes Fritz to general, names him a baron, and makes him commander-in-chief. She admires his more direct plan of battle, and bestows upon him her father's sabre, bidding him to lead the regiment off to war.
ACT II: Fritz defeats a superior enemy through a ruse, and, when he returns, he is even more in the favor of his ruler. However, she wants from him more than military service, putting him in a quandary. He does not want to lose his medals, his uniform, or his plume, but he also does not want to lose his Wanda, a sentiment that does not sit well with the Duchess. Fritz has been assigned to a room in the west wing of the palace, which he and Wanda, just recently married, will soon occupy. MacBoom, the Baroness, and Prince Paul, encouraged by the rejected and newly vengeful Duchess, plot to use a secret passage, enter his room, and do away with him.
ACT III: The conspirators gather near Fritz's room, awaiting his return from the wedding festivities. They have been joined by Count Hector von Eisgesicht, sent by Prince Paul's father to plead his son's case with the Duchess. Hector attracts the attention of the Duchess, but is steadfast in his promotion of Paul as her future husband. Wanda and Fritz enter, but, as the newlyweds attempt to enjoy their privacy, they are interrupted, first by cheers and music outside and then by the entire court, who tell them that the enemy is attacking again and that Fritz must lead the army.
ACT IV: Paul relates to Wanda that there really was no enemy attack - that it was all a ruse to save Fritz from the assassination attempt and to trap MacBoom in a compromising situation with a certain countess. When the Grand Duchess endorses the court-martialing of MacBoom for treason, and he objects, she demotes him - rank by rank - until he hits "private." Blaming Fritz for his demise, MacBoom attacks the young man with his sword, only to knock out Paul, who has come to Fritz's defense. When Paul awakens, he is in the arms of the Grand Duchess, whose true feelings for him she can no longer hide. Paul wastes no time in announcing their wedding, which will take place in ... 20 minutes.
C. Murdock Lucas
|Assistant Stage Director|
Fritz, a young soldier
General Boom MacBoom, Head of the Gerolstein army
Captain Nepomuc, adjutant
Count Hector von Eisgesicht, emissary of the Elector
Prince Paul, of Upper Langenhosen
Grand Duchess of Gerolstein
Wanda, a peasant girl, betrothed to Fritz
Baroness Ann von Hinundzuruck, aunt to Grand Duchess
Julie Wright Costa
Iza, lady of the court
Olga, lady of the court
Amelia, lady of the court
Charlotte, lady of the court
|Ensemble: Tara Austin, Alexander Brickel, Alexia Butler, Alexa Devlin, Sarah Diller, Stephen Faulk, Nadia Fayad, Edward Hanlon, Luke Hefner, Lawren Hill, Lara Korneychuk, Benjamin Krumreig, Hannah Kurth, Michael Lucas, Olivia Maughan, Wendy Muir, Jesus Murillo, Garrett Obrycki, Tanya Roberts, Jarrett Smith, Clark Sturdevant, Alexander Turpin|