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Music Text

Friedrich Karl Waechter's play, adapted by Kurt Schwertsik (G)


2M,Bar(=spoken roles);

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes

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


World Premiere
Nationaltheater, Studio, Mannheim
Johannes Schmid, director
Conductor: Michael Wendeberg
Company: Nationaltheater Mannheim: Junge Oper


Ice Princess Mezzo-Soprano
Devil's Grandmother Mezzo-Soprano
King of Sicily Baritone

The king of Sicily is desperately in love with the ice princess, who appears recurrently in his dreams, but cannot find her. Instead, he accidentally encounters the Devil’s grandmother. She is trapped in a thorn bush, unable to disentangle herself. However, she conjures up the ice princess, who unfortunately shows no interest in the lovestruck king and his offer to invite her to follow him to Sicily. On the contrary: she wounds him with an icicle. The king, however, fights against his pain and rescues the grandmother from the thorn bush; in return, she offers to help him. In order to learn how to be more successful in the future, he is to serve her in hell for three years.

When the three years have passed, he disguises himself as a Sicilian woman and gains the ice princess’ confidence in that role. They travel to Sicily together. When the ice princess awakes on the beach, she is alone. For several weeks she wistfully searches for her supposed friend. One day she encounters the king with his entourage on the beach and asks him about the Sicilian woman who had told her that the king had left her for his love of the ice princess. The king informs her that the girl is on the boat, and heads there himself. There he secretly dresses up as the woman again but when he goes back ashore the ice princess has disappeared. Without him noticing, she has followed him and watched him change clothes. She in turn puts on the king’s clothes now. In that disguise, she steps ashore and orders the girl, who is no other than the disguised king, to be thrown into the tower. After seven more weeks have passed, the ice princess disguised as king has the true king taken out of the tower – only to marry him. Everything takes place with the aid and under the watch of the devil’s grandmother, who can at last return to her beloved hell.


Comic, Poetic



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