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Music Text

Libretto by Flora Verbrugge, after the Brothers Grimm; German translation by Barbara Buri; English translation by Benjamin Gordon, French translation by Catherine Fourcassié (D,G,E,F)


1 singer/actor (female,M), 1 percussionist/actor (male)

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes / Bote & Bock

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Theater Sonnevanck, Enschede
Annechien Koerselman, director
Company: Ekaterina Levental / Sjoerd Nijenhuis


Jacob and his parents are poor. So poor that they cannot even afford a roof over their heads. His father has dug a hole under a tree, where they live. Jacob goes fishing with his father by the sea. One day, Jacob catches quite a special fish. "If you so please, throw me into the sea", says the fish, "throw me in and let me live – I can give you anything you want!" Jacob is so dumbfounded that he drops the fish back into the sea. At night, when he can’t sleep, it dawns on him that he should have wished for a pair of shoes. The next day, he goes back to the sea and calls the fish. And, in a flash, a pair of brand-new shoes adorns his feet. Jacob’s parents are cross: why didn’t he wish for something for the whole family, they ask. A house, for example. The next day, Jacob goes back to the sea, and again the fish fulfils his wish. Just as before, the fish grants all of the requests Jacob makes on his parents’ behalf, which become more and more excessive. With each new wish, the fish gets thinner and thinner and the sea rougher and rougher – right until the end ...





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