Shows T

The curtain falls to loud applause, with the leading performers, Charlotte Pichler and Alexander Jensen, in each other's arms. It is the first big success in Vienna for Charlotte, who is the daughter of the former dancer Fanny Pichler, and the impresario Johann Brunner is on hand to liken the success of her singing to that of her mother's dancing. Charlotte is elated after her success, but tired by her exertions and by the attentions of the well-wishers and journalists. When Baron Liebinger invites her to a party at his house, she declines graciously but her interest is aroused by the compliments of a young man who introduces himself as Count Otto Schwarzenegg. The young Count tells her that his father always kept her mother's portrait on his desk, and Charlotte recognises him as the son of the Count Rudolf Schwarzenegg of whom her mother had so often spoken. He asks if she will meet him at Baron Liebinger's party, and Charlotte agrees, Brushing aside Brunner's protests that she must be tired, she asks the impresario to see her to the Count's home. SCENE 5 Over the past four months Otto has been conducting an affair with the Baroness Liebinger. Now it must be ended, for his family are anxious that he should marry. In his time he has had more than his share of flirtatititis (`Lieber Freund, wir mir scheinftNur Liebelei and keine wahre Lieber), but now there will be no more SCENE 6 At Baron Liebinger's house a large group of guests has assembled for the party and the success of the new operetta and its new star, Charlotte Piechler, is the major topic of conversation. Only Baroness Liebinger seems not to have seen the show, but she is planning to go the following day. Meanwhile, she is trying to speak to Otto, but he avoids her with excuses. The party springs to life with the announcement of Charlotte's arrival. Baron Liebinger welcomes her, and she responds gracefully, but before long she is deep into conversation with Count Otto. 'If the likeness of the portrait in your father's room were not so striking, would you have come on stage to introduce yourself to me?' she asks. He doesn't know, but he has a question in return: 'Would you have changed your mind about coming to Baron Liebinger's this evening if I had not been called Schwarzenegg?' She knows no more than he does. The operetta's soubrette, Steffi Castelli, is feeling much put out by Charlotte's success. Why can't she achieve the same sort of success? Brunner does his best to help her by allowing her to sing for the guests her comic number from the new operetta. The relationship between' Charlotte and Otto develops rapidly. Brunner is anxious to see her home safely, but she has already accepted an invitation from the Count to accompany him to Sacher's. Brunner may come and collect her there in an hour or so's time. They depart, leaving Baroness Liebinger, who has still not managed to speak with Otto, to learn secondhand the bitter news that the Count and Charlotte have left together. SCENE 7 In a private room in the fashionable Hotel Sacher, Otto and Charlotte sit together, talking once again of the feelings that their parents obviously had for each other. Otto by now has his own expressions of love for Charlotte. A knock at the door announces the arrival of Johann Brunner who has come to take Charlotte home, leaving Otto to pour out to the waiter his belief that he has at last found the only woman for him. The head waiter observes stonily that he has heard the Count say that many times before. SCENE 8 The following day the newspapers are full of the operetta's success. In her dressing room during, the second interval of the operetta's second performance, Charlotte receives a bunch of red roses from Otto, but her