In one Act.
Libretto by A. VON STEIGENTESCH (end of 18th century).
Arranged by FERDINAND COUNT SPORCK.
With Music by EUGENE D'ALBERT.
By this opera the young composer, whose previous dramatic efforts were
to a certain extent unsuccessful, has proved that his forte lies in
The Departure was given in Dresden in October 1900, and was a complete
The whole opera teems with bright and merry melodies, wrought-in with
consumate art, and the text, though somewhat frivolous is artistically
adapted to the music.
The principal motive is the love-motive, its strains which run through
the whole opera are not only charming but original. The orchestration
is in the style at present in vogue, which subordinates the voices more
or less to the music.
The following is a short synopsis of the libretto.
The husband Gilfen rather neglects his pretty wife Louise, while his
friend Trott pays court to her.
In the first scene we find Gilfen undecided, whether to set out on a
journey, or not.
Trott desiring his absence offers to do everything in his power to
hasten his friend's departure, of course all for friendship's sake.
Gilfen puts him to the test by pretending to need all sorts of things.
He begs Trott to fetch a parcel lying at the custom-house, and weighing
forty pounds; a letter from the post-office, a rose-tree for Louise,
and a travelling-map, which was only to be had at a stationer's shop at
a considerable distance.
Before leaving the house Trott finds an opportunity to tell Louise that
he does all this for her sake only. Gilfen, finding him with his wife,
sends him on his errands and then leaves Louise to herself. She is
filled with sadness by her husband's indifference and sings a pretty
song about a youth, who makes love to a maiden, and a man, who neglects
his wife. Gilfen returns, attracted by the song, and guessing that his
wife still loves him as before he decides to stay at home.
Louise leaves him and Trott returns out of breath and laden with
parcels. The husband thanks him, but explains that there is still a
letter to be written, for which an important document is needed, and is
to be found in a chest on the next floor. Trott is hastening away,
when Gilfen implies, that he must have the chest itself. Seeing the
carriage, waiting outside Trott rushes away, determined to do his
utmost for friendship's sake. Then Gilfen appears before his wife in
travelling costume.--In the interview, which ensues, Louise shows him
clearly, that her heart is still his, but that she longs for more
tenderness and love. They are interrupted by Trott's entrance,
dragging in the heavy chest. Gilfen declares that he has now
everything he wants, and takes an affectionate farewell of his wife and
Left alone, the latter loses no time in making love to Louise, but all
he gains is a friendly handshake. Mistaking her coolness for timidity,
he becomes bolder. At this moment Gilfen re-enters, telling them, that
his carriage has broken down. Trott hastens out, to see to its repair
and leaves husband and wife alone.
Now Gilfen owns that the carriage is intact and that he only come back,
because he felt, that he had left the best thing behind him. "What is
it, that would keep you at home?" asks Louise. "A wife, who would
plead with a smile: do not go," he answers.--
A pretty duet follows, in which they indulge in sweet reminiscences of
the past, and at last discover, that they still love each other as
fondly as ever. Embracing her husband Louise whispers smilingly: "Do
When Trott returns Gilfen astonishes him by telling him that he has
decided to stay at home. Trott perceives at last that it is his turn
to go. While he still lingers, he receives a note from Louise, showing
him unmistakeably, that he is not wanted in their house. He retires
crestfallen, while Louise and Gilfen gaily wave their hands to the