Opérette (1913)

Musique: Victor Herbert
Paroles: Fred de Gresac • Harry B. Smith
Livret: Fred de Gresac • Harry B. Smith
Production à la création:

Considering the praise for Victor Herbert’s score and leading lady Christie MacDonald, the relatively short run of Sweethearts is somewhat surprising. It ran four months on Broadway, enjoyed a post-Broadway national tour, was revived for a limited engagement in 1929, and was revived again in 1947 as a vehicle for Bobby Clark which ran for nine months. Everyone thinks they’ve seen the movie version with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, but the 1938 MGM musical was for all purposes an in-name-only adaptation that appropriated the show’s title and five of its songs but otherwise had a completely different plot.

The story takes place during the present time and begins in Bruges, Brussels, where we meet the foundling Sylvia (MacDonald) who lives with Dame Paula (Ethel Du Pre Houston), otherwise known as Mother Goose, the owner and operator of the Laundry of the White Geese. The good lady has six daughters (all of whom sport first names which end in ette, and are known collectively as the White Geese), and they and Sylvia work in the laundry.
It seems that one morning many years ago Mother Goose met Mikel Mikeloviz (Tom McNaughton) in a tulip garden. He was disguised as a monk, and entrusted to her care the infant Sylvia. Unknown to Mother Goose is that for safety’s sake the monk whisked the child from the war-torn kingdom of Zilania, and that Sylvia is that country’s Crown Princess. Now Sylvia is grown, and Mikel returns in hope of restoring her to the throne, which is just about to be offered to the heir presumptive Franz (Thomas Conkey). By a strange coincidence that occurs only in the world of operetta, Franz has been traveling incognito throughout Brussels and has seen and fallen in love with—Sylvia! Complications and misunderstands abound, but by the final curtain Sylvia and Franz are married and form a dual monarchy in Zilania.

Synopsis complet

Act 1
Iron, Iron, Iron - Chorus
On Parade - Ensemble
Smiles - Liane and Ensemble
Sweethearts (If You Ask Where Love Is Found) - Sylvia
For Every Lover Must Meet His Fate - Prince Franz and Ensemble
Mother Goose - Sylvia and Ensemble
The Angelus - Sylvia and Prince Franz
Jeanette and Her Little Wooden Shoes (Sabot Dance) (Clip Clop Clop) - Liane, Hon. Percy *Algernon Slingsby, Aristide Caniche and Baron Petrus Von Tromp
Act 2
Waiting for the Bride - Male Chorus
Pretty As a Picture - Von Tromp and Male Chorus
In the Convent They Never Taught Me That - Sylvia and Ensemble
Game Of Love - Lt. Karl and Daughters
I Don't Know How I Do It But I Do (Lyrics By Harry B. Smith) - Slingsby
Cricket on the Hearth - Sylvia and Prince Franz
The Monks' Quartette - Mikel Mikeloviz, Von Tromp, Slingsby and Aristide Caniche

Dame Paula (Mezzo-soprano) - Owner of the White Geese Laundry
Karl (Tenor) - A Lieutenant in the local military
Liane (Soprano) - A hat shop girl masquerading as one of Paula's daughters
Mikel (Tenor) - A diplomat from Zenovia
Sylvia (Coloratura Soprano) - An adopted daughter of Dame Paula
Franz (Baritone) - Prince of Zenovia
Van Tromp (Baritone) - A diplomat from Germany
Slingsby (Baritone) - A diplomat from France

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