The Trumpeter Of Saekkingen
DER TROMPETER VON SAeKKINGEN.
In three acts with a prelude by VICTOR NESSLER.
Text by RUDOLF BUNGE after SCHEFFEL'S poem.
Seldom in our days is an opera such a complete success in all German
theatres, as this composition of Nessler's has proved to be. To tell
the truth, it owes its popularity in great degree to the libretto,
which has taken so many fine songs and ideas from its universally known
and adored original. Nessler's Trompeter is however in every way
inferior to Scheffel's celebrated poem.
Nevertheless the music, though not very profound is pleasing, and there
are several airs in it, which have already become popular.
The prelude opens at Heidelberg, where a chorus of students make a
great noise after one of their drinking-bouts. They presently serenade
the Princess-Electress, and a law-student, named Werner, a foundling
and the adopted son of a professor, distinguishes himself by a solo on
the trumpet. He is heard by the trumpeter of the Imperial recruiting
officers, who tries to win him, but without success, when suddenly the
Rector Magnificus appears, to assist the major-domo, and announces to
the astounded disturbers of peace, that they are dismissed from the
Werner, taking a sudden resolution, accepts the press-money from
Konradin the trumpeter, marches away with the soldiers, and the prelude
The first act represents a scene at Sakkingen on the Rhine. There is a
festival in honor of St. Fridolin, at which young Baroness Maria
assists. She is insulted by the peasants and Werner protects her from
them. She is much pleased by the noble bearing of the trumpeter, and
so is her aunt, the Countess of Wildenstein, who detects a great
resemblance between him and her son, who was stolen by gipsies in his
childhood.--The second scene takes us into the Baron's room, where we
find the gouty old gentleman in rather a bad humor. He is restored to
good temper by a letter from his friend, the Count of
Wildenstein, who lives separated from his first wife, the above
mentioned Countess, and who proposes his son, born in second wedlock,
as Maria's husband.
The Baron receives Maria kindly, when she relates her adventure and
begs him to engage Werner as trumpeter in the castle. At this moment
the latter is heard blowing his instrument and the Baron, who has a
great predilection for it, bids Werner present himself and at once
In the second act Werner gives lessons on the trumpet to the lovely
Maria; of course the young people fall in love with each other, but the
Countess watches them, until friend Konradin for once succeeds in
drawing her aside, when there follows a glowing declaration of love on
both sides. Unhappily it is interrupted by the Countess, who announces
her discovery to the Baron. Meanwhile the destined bridegroom has
arrived with his father. Damian, that is the young man's name, is a
simpleton, and Maria declares at once that she never will be his. But
in the presence of the whole company, assembled for a festival, the
Baron proclaims Maria Count Damian's bride; to the over-bold Werner he
forbids the castle.
The last act opens with a siege of the castle by the rebellious
peasants. Damian shows himself a coward. In the last extremity they
are relieved by Werner, who drives the peasants back with his soldiers.
He is wounded in the fray, and while the wound is being dressed, a mole
detected on his arm proclaims him the stolen child of Countess
Wildenstein. All now ends in joy and happiness; the Baron is willing
enough to give his daughter to the brave young nobleman and very glad
to be rid of the cowardly Damian.
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