Logo from Vocal ScoreCARRISIMA

Book and lyrics by Eric Maschwitz from a story by Armin Robinson: Music by Hans May.

Palace Theatre, London - 10 March, 1948 (488 perfs)

A career woman fall under the spell of Venice in the spring and with the golden voice of a gondolier who is, in fact, the opera singer whom she has been trying to recruit for commercial radio on behalf of the domestic company for whom she works. The dénouement takes place in New York.


ESCAPING from Lisa Marvin, an ambitious American business woman who has been pestering him to sing on her radio programme, Paolo Marinelli, famous baritone, returns to his birthplace, Venice, for a holiday incognito. In the Piazza Felice, Paolo renews acquaintanceship with many old friends, among them his childhood's sweetheart, the beautiful and jealous Giulietta Binci.

In pursuit of Paolo, Lisa searches Venice in company with her friends, Maggie the English widow of an Italian nobleman, and Lord Poleigh, a fortune-hunting English peer. On the night of Carnival she hears Paolo, masquerading as a gondolier (his one-time profession) serenading Giulietta. She makes up her mind that the "unknown gondolier " shall be given singing lessons and so use him in her broadcast in place of Marinelli. Determined to teach the American woman a lesson, Paolo and his friends keep up the pretence.

In the course of his voice training, Paolo discovers the romantic side of Lisa's nature and begins to fall in love with her. The new perfume Carissima, which the broadcast is to advertise, is named after the first word of endearment he speaks to her. On the night of the broadcast, however, Giulietta in a fit of jealousy publicly announces the hoax that has been played on Lisa - and Lisa, bitterly hurt, breaks off the programme and returns to America.

A year later Paolo, still in love and very unhappy, is singing in a musical show in New York. He meets Lisa in a night club on the evening of her engagement to Lord Poleigh, and after being "cut " by her, decides to throw up his stage career and return to Venice. Thanks, however, to the activities of Maggie and of Giulietta, who now repents her actions, Lisa watches a T.V. broadcast of Paolo's show, listens to his love songs, realises where her heart lies and joins him, as he is about to fly off to Italy, in one of the most effective and unusual finales in operetta.


(in order of appearance).

BAROLO. (A Wine Merchant)
PIETRO. (A Waiter)
BINCI (Music Teacher). Father of Giulietta
BAZZINI. (A Hotel Proprietor)
TESTI. (A Reporter)
PAOLO MARINELLI. (A Famous Singer)
GIULIETTA. (Binci's Daughter)
CONTESSA MAGGIE. (An English Widow)
LORD POLEIGH. (An Englishman)
LISA MARVIN. (An American Business Woman)
EDITH. (Secretary to Lisa)
SNOWY ADAMS. (A Radio Announcer)
JOE ERDMAN. (An American Cosmetics Manufacturer)

Musical Numbers



  1. Venice in Spring (Caporelli and Chorus)
  2. Festa Bella (Chorus)
  3. Santa Rosa (Paolo with Chorus)
  4. Duet: ''When We Were Young (Paolo and Giulietta with Chorus)
  5. Entrance of Maggie and Poleigh
  6. Duet : Do Come and Call at the Castle (Maggie and Poleigh)
  7. Fall In and Follow America (Lisa, Bazzini and Chorus)
  8. Carnival and Ballet - (Chorus)
  9. Two In a Gondola (Paolo)
  10. Entrance of Revellers
  11. Two in a Gondola (Paolo, Giulietta and Chorus)
  12. I'll be Waiting for Love (Lisa and Chorus)
  13. The Return of Paolo (Paolo and Chorus)
  14. Finaletto (Paolo and Chorus)


  1. Entr'acte Music.
  2. Opening of Act II (Paolo and Chorus)
  3. The Mad Manettas (Paolo, Caporello, Bazzini, Binci, and Chorus)
  4. Far in the Blue (Lisa and Paolo)
  5. Here's a Health (Barolo with Male Chorus)
  6. The Harlequinade Ballet.
  7. Let me Live! Let me Love! (Giulietta and Chorus)
  8. You Look Good to Me (Maggie and Poleigh)
  9. Small Cafe (Lisa and Paolo)
  10. Television Test (Paolo Off-stage)
  11. Carissima (Paolo with Chorus)
  12. End of Act II


  1. Entr'acte
  2. Opening Dance and Rum-Beguine (Girl Singer and Ballet)
  3. Television Music Off-stage
  4. This is Good-bye (Giulietta, Paolo, and Chorus)
  5. Airport Music
  6. Finale : Far in the Blue (Lisa, Paolo, Giuulietta, and Chorus)