|Die Fledermaus Libretto
ex Kalmus Edition with Director’s Amendments
Music No. 1 “Introduction”
ALFREDO: Darling dove that flew away, leaving love behind you
Dove I kissed that happy day, let my song remind you
Charming little dove of mine, come now to your window,
Full of longing I repine, for my Rosalinda
Full of longing I repine, for my Rosalinda
ADELE: (Dusting furniture & speaking over of Alfred’s song in the music gaps; Alfred at S/L window). (1) What in the world is that caterwauling? … (2) Can’t one have a moment’s peace to think? (Continues over song) What? Rosalinda? That is no street singer, but an admirer – and not even one of mine, but of my mistress! (Looks out window) Too bad. I should have liked to have taken a closer look. Maybe I can still catch him! (Runs out as Rosalinda enters very excited from dressing room). (postman seen giving Adele a letter). (Orchestra music repeats Alfred’s song before allegro Bar 35; dialogue over this music; Alfred moves to other window S/R)
ROSALINDA: It is he! Alfred, who adored me so much four years ago when I was still free. I recognised him right away by his voice and his presumption. Only a tenor could be so presumptuous, and only a presumptuous man sings like a tenor! He dares to come here, right in front of my husband’s house, and compromise me with his high ‘A’! Ah, I must not listen! A walk in the garden should calm my beating heart! (Exits D/S R in a panic as Adele enters excitedly with a letter)
(Music recommences at Allegro Bar 35 - Adele sings letter song)
This is from my sister Ida who’s a dancer in ballet
We, today, are at a villa where the goings on are gay.
Prince Orlofsky, he rich bon vivant, plans for this evening, here, a gala ball
If you borrow from your mistress one of her finest Paris dresses
And make an elegant appearance, I could invite you with assurance.
Take the night off she’ll excuse you; How this party will amuse you!
You will find it entertaining! So my sister is explaining!
I am sure I would have fun, the party will be gay, I know;
But t’is sooner said than done. What would I give it I could go, if I could go? Oh!
Could I be that happy dove, floating over clouds above filled with light and wonder,
Singing through the bright blue yonder winging, what a trick has nature played
Making me a chamber maid, making me a chamber maid
(ROSALINDA enters on music at end of song, calmly and thoughtful with bunch of flowers and begins to arrange them on the table, not seeing Adele)
ADELE: (Notices Rosalinda and says to herself). Ah, there is my mistress! Now out with my story. Make it short, but heartbreaking! (Loud, wailing) Oh my lady, my poor aunt is sooooh sick!
ROSALINDA: (To herself) I’m sure Alfred thinks I am unfaithful, perhaps even in love with someone else, and here I have only just been married.
ADELE: (Even more tearfully). My Lady, my lady, my poor aunt is so sick!
ROSALINDA: Who is sick?
ADELE: My aunt.
ROSALINDA: Your aunt?
ADELE: Yes, my aunt.
ROSALINDA: (Impatiently) Well, am I supposed to make her well?
ADELE: I wouldn’t ask you to do that, even if you could.
ROSALINDA: Well then?
ADELE: (Again sobbing) But it is the duty of a good niece to visit her aunt and to enquire, “How are you? How do you feel? Still so jolly and bright?”
ROSALINDA: Your poor, sick aunt?
ADELE: So I beg you, in consideration of my dutiful love, let me have the evening off?
ROSALINDA: (Firmly) Impossible!
ADELE: (Begging) My Lady!
ROSALINDA: I said, impossible! Have you forgotten that my husband has to start his five-day term in prison tonight? It’s been postponed three times already; but tonight he has to turn himself in, or they will drag him in.
ADELE: But I still don’t know why the Master has to go to jail?
ROSALINDA: Oh, he hit a government tax official with a riding crop and called him a frozen cod fish. That was after he had already been told twice to apologise for a previous fishy encounter with the same official, and had refused on principal to do so! It would not be so bad, but he kept appealing, until the judge decided enough was enough and passed his case over to the prison Director.
ADELE: Maybe if he appeals to the prison Director, he’ll let him go free.
ROSALINDA: Well, in any case, you shall not go free this evening; I cannot spare you for one hour.
ADELE: You can’t? Oh, my poor, poor aunt! So, I will never be allowed to see you again on this earth? Such an aunt as this one, such an aunt!
Music No. 1a.
(ADELE)Ah my mistress has said no / (ROS)Today you may not go
Though you’re longing for me so / Although she’s longing for you so
My poor Aunt will be so sorry ? / Oh what a fearful story
When she hears my tearful story / I’m sure your aunt is sorry
What a trick has nature played / Yes, a trick has nature played
Making me a chamber maid
Making me (you) a chamber maid
(Adele exits weeping to dressing room)
Script page 19
ROSALINDA: (Alone). What a happy aunt, to have such a loving niece! But I simply cannot spare her, since I dare not stay here alone while my husband must go to prison. And he has to go now, because he has infuriated the judges so against him. (Her glance falls on Alfred, who appears in the garden door or through the L French window if usable) Good heavens, Alfred!
ALFRED: (Advancing – over-the-top speech - sung style). And why not “My Alfred”, and fly to me with open arms? (Sings Bella figlia del amore... Rigoletto) (chase)
ROSALINDA: Sir, I am a married woman!
ALFRED: I’ll overlook that.
ROSALINDA: But I won’t! You must say goodbye!
ALFRED: I just got here, why should I say goodbye?
ROSALINDA: Dear heaven. What if my husband comes in?
ALFRED: I’d overlook that too. Anyway, he won’t come in. He’s going to jail.
ROSALINDA: I beg you; I implore you, go, hence!
ALFRED: All right. I shall…hence, go. But on one condition, that is that I be allowed to return while your husband is behind bars. Promise and I’ll go instantly. (theatrical). Swear it!
ROSALINDA: So be it…I swear!
ALFRED: Very well then…I go., (stands still).
ROSALIND: (Impatiently) But you’re not going at all, you’re still standing around. Good-bye!
ALFRED: (singing) Tis not goodbye! Soon I shall return! Arrivederci!! Auf Wiedersehen!! Adios!! Au revoir; Fare thee well! (Exits through French window singing Bella figlia…)).
ROSALINDA: (alone & frantic) Oh, if only he would stop singing. His conversation I can resist, but that high ‘B’ just melts my resistance. Oh, Destiny, Destiny, how can you do this to me? In the same instant, you take my husband from me, and you show me this vision from the past. (Listens to noises off) There, my husband is coming. He’s quarrelling with his lawyer, Dr Blind. That’s a bad sign.
Music No. 2
EISENSTEIN: No one but an awful lawyer could destroy his own employer, It’s enough to drive one mad. ROS: Are you mad? BLIND: He is mad
EIS: Thanks to my good friends defending, Jail is where the case is ending
And it’s all his fault, the cad. BLIND: Who’s a cad? ROS: He’s a Cad? A guilty cad?
EIS: Yes it is all his fault the cad! ROS: The lawyer? You? BLIND: That is not rue
EIS: I’ll tell you who. ROS: Then tell me do! Explain my dear EIS: Now you shall hear
BLIND: No, first I must make myself clear
EIS: Make yourself scarce, clear out of here, I’ve had enough of your defending
ROS: Come now behave why do you rave EIS: He spits out words like cackling birds
BLIND: He lost his head, the things he said! EIS: You stuttered over every word
BLIND: Such shouting I have never heard EIS: You cackled like a fool
BLIND: How can you be so cruel? EIS: You are a ghastly ghoul
BLIND: You’re really inhumane! You scream as if you were insane You bluster like a hurricane
ROS: You’d better save your breath, you’ll shout yourself to death!
It would be best to disappear or we will see a scandal here
EIS: Yes she is right, just disappear or there will be scandal here!
ROS: It would be best to disappear, it would be best to disappear
You really must not shout and curse, the prison sentence could be worse
It’s just five days if you surrender and after all five days it’s not so long to wait
EIS: Just five days you say? Now it is eight! Three days, my sentence was extended
Thanks to my good friend Doctor Blind, This very day I’m due in jail they’ll come and get me if I fail
ROS: That does look bad, no use pretending. EIS: Indeed
ROS: Ah poor dear this very day, alas you have to go away?
How can I bear this separation? How give you consolation?
Script page 31
ROSALINDA: So now they have increased your sentence? Instead of five days---eight days!
EISENSTEIN: An increase I owe to the bleating Dr Blind.
BLIND: (always stutters) D…d…don’t p…provoke m…me. You enraged the j…judges all by yourself and c…c…confused me as well. But I won’t hold it against you, and the next time you go to jail, I’ll represent you again in sp…spite of it.
EISENSTEIN: I’m sure you will!
BLIND: If ever you have any m..more t.trouble with that official, don’t hesitate. The next time I am almost sure to get you off.
EISENSTEIN: By thunder --- Good-bye!
BLIND: Your servant. (Exits quickly).
EISENSTEIN: He calls himself a lawyer! Such blooming nonsense never grew in any courtyard of law.
ROSALINDA: My poor Gabriel! Eight long days – and even tonight!
EISENSTEIN: Even this very night. (Sings) We have to say farewell!
ROSALINDA: How could they condemn a tenor? The Barbarians!
EISENSTEIN: They wanted to keep me there, tenor voice and all, this afternoon. I had to beg them for a few hours grace, so I could dine with you. (Rings the bell) I can’t really blame them; they ‘invited’ me three times, and I didn’t show up.
ADELE: (Eyes red with crying, in a sobbing voice) You rang?
EISENSTEIN: What’s the meaning of this? You’ve been crying. Surely not because of me Adele?
ADELE: My poor aunt!
ROSALINDA: The poor woman is deathly ill.
EISENSTEIN: Deathly ill? I just saw her galloping a donkey through the vineyard.
ADELE: (Aside) Oh damn!
ROSALINDA: (looking at Adele) So, that’s how sick she is!
ADELE: Who knows? Maybe the doctor prescribed the donkey?
EISENSTEIN: Hurry off now and order us up a magnificent dinner. Have them send us something that’s good and expensive. (Adele starts to go) Another thing! (To Rosalinda) My dear, could you please dig out the oldest, dirtiest, most ragged and miserable clothes you can find for me.
ADELE: Is your lordship going begging?
EISENSTEIN: No. But I don’t want to be begged of by the company I shall be keeping tonight. But first, the dinner! I shall at least do well for myself at my family table.
ADELE: Dr Falke is here. (Exits)
FALKE: (delighted) Ah, there he is! (Kisses Rosalinda’s hand) My compliments most beautiful of women! You have my heartfelt congratulations that for eight days you will be liberated from this tyrant! (Shakes Eisenstein’s hand) But to you also my felicitations. That increase of three extra days in prison is an extraordinary accomplishment – you really should thank your judges!
ROSALINDA: But, Dr Falke!
EISENSTEIN: Oh, let him alone. A wounded man does not worry about a little mockery. Go to the cellar my darling. The venomous tongue must be dampened, lest it grow too sharp.
ROSALINDA: No more bad jokes please, dear Doctor. We must try to console our poor delinquent. (She exits to garden door)
FALKE: (calling after Rosalinda) Certainly, dear lady – to console him and distract him is exactly why I came. (Softly to Eisenstein) I came to take you to a princely soirée with an enchanting ballerina from the opera!
EISENSTEIN: Are you mad? I have to start my prison term in one hour.
FALKE: You can start tomorrow morning, bright and early. Tonight, you will go with me to the villa of Orlofsky, the young Russian Prince who has been throwing away fabulous sums of money. Ladies you will find there, ladies, I tell you, a veritable garden in bloom, from camellias to blushing violets.
EISENSTEIN: The Devil you say, my mouth is watering! But the Prince…..
FALKE:…..has asked me, most urgently, to invite some playboys of my acquaintance.
EISENSTEIN: Well, I am flattered that I’m considered such a desirable companion!
FALKE: And always ready with a wild idea. ….For example, that time years ago when we went to the Masked Ball……
EISENSTEIN: I, as a butterfly, and you, as a bat! You still remember?
FALKE: (meaningfully) It has been difficult to forget!
EISENSTEIN: Oh, that was a capital joke!
FALKE: Oh, sure, for the butterfly, but not for the bat!
EISENSTEIN: The judge who presided today was there too. He had to hold his fat stomach from laughing. And today he asked me my name and gave me eight days in jail. Oh, these terrible good friends! (takes out chiming pocket watch from his pocket and makes it ring). (Cue Orch. Triangle)
FALKE: Ah, there, I see, is the famous “mouse-trap’!
EISENSTEIN: What do you mean?
FALKE: They say that you use that charming little watch as bait to court all the, ah.. ‘Ladies of the Camellias’. You promise it to each one…
EISENSTEIN: But I still haven’t given it to anyone! (laughs).
FALKE: You rogue, you’ll be tossing out this bait again tonight; I’m counting on you, then, to come to the party?
Music No. 3
FALKE: Come with me to the dance, it may be your last chance! Soon enough you’ll be ins prison, sighing under supervision; Why not serve a little time with our brotherhood of wine? Think of ballet dancers’ charms, dazzling dresses, pretty faces to enchant you with their graces, dancing polkas in your arms; Friend, believe me come what may; you’ll be gay! The music, the dancing, the glittering hall, champagne and romancing you’ll have them all, with laughter and drinking the hours will sail, with no time for thinking of days in jail. What good is your health in a prison cell? Enjoy it tonight…..you might as well. Don’t you agree.
EIS: I do agree! FALKE: Don’t you agree? EIS: I do agree. What if my wife finds out about it?
DALKE: Kiss her goodbye and she’ll never doubt it; tell her; “Farewell, my little kitten1”.
EIS: No, No, my Mouse-kin is the word, my little mouse-kin!. FALKE: Little mouse-kin.
BOTH: Then the cat himself will go sneaking from my house.
FALKE: And while she is sleeping well, you’ll be far away from you cell, to celebrate one last farewell, with me at the heavenly ball. You’ll go disguised as a Frenchman, Marquis Renard shall be your name no one will ever be wise. You will?
EISE: It would be a pleasure. FALKE: You must! EIS: But still…..
FALKE: Come, come, I prescribe it as a health protective measure!
EIS: I’m convinced, you are right, it’s only for one night!
FALKE: What good is your health in a prison cell,?
EIS: What is good is my health in a prison cell I might just as well enjoy myself.
FALKE: You’ll come then? EIS: How can I resist? I’ll be at your side.
FALKE: Forget your conscience, let me be your guide.
EIS: Ah, what joys the night will bring ; pleasure for the god’s to savour; beauties eager for our favour; all night long we’ll laugh and sing! Lalalalalalala Lalalalalalala beauties vying for our favour; all night long we’ll laugh and sing. Lalalalalalalala…….la La-La!.