Shows F

FRIEDERIKA (Frederica) Music by Franz Lehár: Book & Lyrics by Ludwig Herzer and Fritz Löhner. English version by Adrian Ross and Harry S. Pepper Metropol-Theater, Berlin - 4 October 1928 Palace Theatre, London 9 September, 1930 Imperial Theatre, New York - 4 February, 1937 Adaptation by Bernard Dunn, Harry S. Pepper and Ronald Hanmer for amateur performance. This adaptation of the magical operetta of Lehár has been performed previously only professionally. Now the book has been remodelled but the original English lyrics are retained. it tells the true story of the younger days of Goethe, Germany's most famous poet, and his tragic love for Frederica, daughter of the Vicar of Sesenheim. Easily staged with only two sets, the operetta's score is one of Lehár's loveliest and includes the well-known "Oh Maiden, My Maiden". SYNOPSIS - (Lehar's final version) ACT 1 - Tthe village of Sesenheim in Alsace-Lorraine, on Whit Sunday, 1771 The church rector, Johann Jakob Brion, and his wife emerge from the church and head towards the rectory, where they sit down in a garden shade for some morning coffee. They call their two daughters to join them, but Friederike, the younger, is far too engrossed in reading a book by her sweetheart, Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Goethe is due to complete his medical studies shortly, and Salomea, the elder daughter, speculates that a marriage between him and Friederike might soon follow. Friederike finally comes out of the house full of the joys of the beautiful spring day and, as she sits down with her parents, a postman arrives with a package for her. It is from Goethe, and it contains a binding painted with roses, inside which is a poem full of romantic sentiments, which Friederike reads rapturously. Salomea excitedly brings news of the arrival of some students from Strasbourg University who march in to a rousing students' song. Salomea, the livelier of the two sisters, joins in their merriment and soon has them kneeling before her. Salomea's accepted admirer, Friedrich Weyland, is amongst the group, but she seems more interested in the whereabouts of another student, Jakob Lenz. It seems that he is merely delayed, looking for a painted binding after the manner of the one sent to Friederike by Goethe. Salomea runs off with the students to meet Lenz, just as Goethe arrives. He has a bouquet in his hand, and he stands gazing up at the rectory wherin lives the girl he loves. When Friederike sees him, she rushes from the house to meet him. He gives her the bunch of flowers and they excitedly exchange expressions of love. Lenz arrives, carrying a basket and several large parcels and leading a lamb by a rope tied around his waist. He failed to find a painted binding for Salomea and missed the students as he made a detour to pick up some flowers. While Friederike helps him take the gifts into the house, Goethe sits outside, writing in his notebook a new lyric about a boy who plucked a meadow rose. The idyll must soon be over, for Goethe has work to do for his medical studies in Strasbourg, but Friederike is planning to visit her lawyer uncle Schöll there, and they will be able to meet. The students return and dancing begins on the lawn. Goethe finds himself surrounded by a crowd of girls, and Lenz seizes the opportunity to warn Friederike of the dangers of loving Goethe too much. He is known to flit from girl to girl like a butterfly from one bud to another. Friederike thanks him for his concern, but declares that all she knows is that she loves him.