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

several languages.



The text is skillfully arranged, and so combined as to awaken our

interest.







The scene is laid in a village near Melun in the years between 1812 and

15.



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

the war.



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.





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