The Golden Cross
In two acts by IGNAZ BRULL.
Text by MOSENTHAL.
Brull, born at Prossnitz in Moravia, Nov. 7th, 1846, received his
musical education in Vienna and is well known as a good pianist. He
has composed different operas, of which however the above-mentioned is
the only popular one.
This charming little opera, which rendered its composer famous, has
passed beyond the frontiers of Germany and is now translated into
The text is skillfully arranged, and so combined as to awaken our
The scene is laid in a village near Melun in the years between 1812 and
Nicolas (or Cola) Pariset, an innkeeper, is betrothed to his cousin
Therese. Unfortunately just on his wedding-day a sergeant, named
Bombardon, levies him for the army, which is to march against the
Russians. Vainly does Therese plead for her betrothed, and equally in
vain is it that she is joined in her pleading by Nicolas' sister
Christine. The latter is passionately attached to her brother, who has
hitherto been her only care. Finally Christine promises to marry any
man who will go as substitute for her brother. Gontran de l'Ancry, a
young nobleman, whose heart is touched by the maiden's tenderness and
beauty, places himself at Bombardon's disposal and receives from him
the golden cross, which Christine has placed in his hands, to be
offered as a pledge of fidelity to her brother's deliverer. Christine
does not get to know him, as Gontran departs immediately. The act
closes with Cola's marriage.
The second act takes place two years later. Cola, who could not be
detained from marching against the enemy, has been wounded, but saved
from being killed by an officer, who received the bullet instead. Both
return to Cola's house as invalids and are tended by the two women.
The strange officer, who is no other than Gontran, loves Christine and
she returns his passion, but deeming herself bound to another, she does
not betray her feeling. Gontran is about to bid her farewell, but
when in the act of taking leave, he perceives her love and tells
her that he is the officer, who was once substitute for her brother in
Christine is full of happiness; Gontran when asked for the token of her
promise, tells her, that the cross was taken from him, as he lay
senseless on the field of battle. At this moment Bombardon, returning
also as invalid, presents the cross to Christine, and she believing
that Gontran has lied to her and that Bombardon is her brother's
substitute, promises her hand to him, with a bleeding heart, but
Bombardon relates that the true owner of the cross has fallen on the
battle-field and that he took it from the dead body. Christine now
resolves to enter in a convent, when suddenly Gontran's voice is heard.
Bombardon recognizes his friend, whom he believed to be dead,
everything is explained and the scene ends with the marriage of the
good and true lovers.
Next: The Two Grenadiers