Shows S

Act 2 The following day, high on the mountain, the two mountaineers are pressing on upwards, stimulated by the superb view and by each other's company. It is clear that they already have budding feelings of love for each other. They are feeling in need of a rest when they come upon a mountain hut. It is remarkably well equipped, with such comforts as a cooker, food and radio, and Princess Elisabeth volunteers to cook a meal. While she is doing so, Georg stands outside the hut, pondering his situation. No matter what his father may say or wish, there is no doubt in his mind that his companion is the only girl for him. Elisabeth produces a delicious meal of scrambled eggs, ham, bread and fruit, washed down with ice-cold water from a mountain stream. Then, when they have eaten, they switch on the radio and, when they find that it is broadcasting dance music, they dance together. However, the music is interrupted by the broadcast of an S.O.S. reporting that the Princess von and zu Lichtenberg has been missing since daybreak. According to the radio, the Princess is wearing a brown skirt and green blouse and has been seen in the company of a young man in climbing kit. Prince Georg looks at her in disbelief as it dawns on him who his companion is. Suddenly they realise that they have paused too long at the hut and that it is getting late. What is more, there are signs of a storm coming up and Georg, as an experienced mountaineer, tells Elisabeth that in such conditions it would be dangerous to try to return to the foot of the mountain that night. Elisabeth threatens to make the journey alone but just then a thunderous noise is heard. 'What was that?' she cries, throwing herself into his arms. 'An avalanche!' he replies. He calms her down but assures her that there can be no question of making their way down the mountain. They must spend the night in the hut. Elisabeth realises that the avalanche is not the only thing that has fallen. She has fallen in love. The young people declare their love for each other, and, as the weather eases and night comes, they settle down to pass the night—she inside and he on a bench in front of the hut. Act 3 Back at the Hotel des Alpes, the guests are clamouring around the manager seeking news and wondering whether they themselves may be in danger from avalanches. Fortunately the manager is able to reassure them over both their own safety and that of the Princess. An airman has seen her and her companion together on the mountain. Now speculation redirects itself towards the identity of the stranger who is with Elisabeth, and Mercedes stirs matters up by pointing to the scandal of the Princess spending a night alone with this unknown man. 'Whether rich or poor, love makes all humans the same,' she declares. Suddenly, when everyone is occupied elsewhere, the Crown Prince and the Princess arrive quickly and quietly back in the hotel. They are so thirsty after their climb that the Prince slips into the bar and mixes them a swift before Elisabeth goes to find her aunt. The Duchess is understandably relieved at her niece's safe return but she is less happy about Elisabeth's insistence that she will not marry the Crown Prince. She is in love with her mountain companion. `Listen to me, Elisabeth!' the Duchess declares. `To be in love—fine! To go climbing mountains alone with a man—fine! To spend a whole night with him—very good! But to marry him—that is decidedly indecent!' But even in front of such practical advice, Elisabeth can only revel in her new found love. The King is still wondering how he is to break to the Duchess the news that Georg is refusing to marry her niece when Sascha tells him who it was who passed the night on the mountain with the Princess. The King is so pleased with Sascha for this excellent piece of news that he immediately gives his approval to his adjutant's marriage to Mercedes, and the lady expresses her delight in typical style. The Duchess now comes to inform the King of Elisabeth's decision not to marry his son, and the King retorts with some aspersions on a woman who would spend a night alone on a mountain with a man. Finally, however, the real identity of the lovers is revealed, and Georg muses that he went up the mountain to get away from the Princess Elisabeth and merely succeeded in finding her, as the two affirm the strength of their love for each other. The synopsis follows the revised version as performed at the Theater an der Wien in 1931. The basic plot, broad structure and some of the music of Schön ist die Welt were taken over from Endlich allein but the characters were new, the libretto rewritten, and several new musical numbers added.