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Music Text

Libretto by P. Suardon (= Nicola Daspuro); German version by Max Kalbeck (I,G)


S,M,2T,Bar,B; mixed chorus;
2.picc.2(II=corA).2.2-; II=BD/cym-harp-strings;
on-stage: ob; 2hn.thn.2tpt.2crt.4trbn.euph.2tuba;
off-stage: solo vln
(This work is published and distributed for stage performances by Boosey & Hawkes / Bote & Bock in Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and in German speaking Switzerland.)

Abbreviations (PDF)



This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes Bote & Bock for Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Switzerland (German) .


World Premiere
Teatro Costanzi, Roma
Conductor: Rodolfo Ferrari
Company: Fernando De Lucia, Emma Calvé, Paul Lhéri and others


SUZEL Lyric Soprano
BEPPE, the gypsy Mezzo-Soprano
DAVID, rabbi Baritone
HANEZÒ and FEDERICO, Fritz's friends Bass, Tenor
CATERINA, Fritz's housekeeper Soprano
Country people
Time and Place

In Alsace, around 1860


Fritz Kobus, a wealthy, staunch bachelor, celebrates his 40th birthday with friends. He bets David a vineyard that he will continue to resist marriage without difficulty. On that very day, he gets to know Suzel, the pretty daughter of his estate manager, and falls in love with her, without entirely realizing it. When David notices that Suzel is in love with Fritz, too, but does not dare to reveal her feelings because of her social standing, he decides to bring his friend’s feelings to light. He pretends to Fritz that the estate manager has gone away, in order to seek agreement for Suzel’s marriage to another man. Overcome with jealousy, Fritz forbids the marriage before he realises that he has been tricked.  In the end he gives up, confessing his love to Suzel. David believes that the other die-hard bachelors will follow Fritz’s example. The bets are open...


Comic, Romantic

Recommended Recording

Roberto Alagna / Angela Gheorghiu / Laura Polverelli / George Petean u.a. / Chor & Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin / Alberto Veronesi
DG 477 8358

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