The Trumpeter Of 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

is closed.

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

engages him.

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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