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*Deutsch

Humperdinck, Engelbert

Das Mirakel (1911)

(The Miracle)
Duration: 115 minutes
Pantomime in two acts and an interlude

Libretto by Karl Vollmoeller and Max Reinhardt (G,E)

Scoring
non-singing roles; chorus; ballet; 2.picc.2.corA.2.bcl.2.dbn-4.3.3.1-timp.perc-harp-org-strings; On-stage: harmonium-harp-pft-cel-perc.
Abbreviations (PDF).


Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.



World Premiere
12/23/1911
Olympia Theatre, London
Company: Unknown

Roles

Roles in the 1st and 2nd Act:
THE YOUNG NUN
THE ABBESS
THE OLD SACRISTAN
FIRST NOVICE
Novices and nuns
The crowd
THE BISHOP
THE LAME MAN
THE BLIND MAN
THE MINSTREL
THE KNIGHT
THE MADONNA
Roles in the Interlude:
THE NUN
THE KNIGHT
THE MINSTREL
THE ROBBER-COUNT
The count's hunters and retainers
THE COUNT
THE KING'S SON
The old king's pages
The important people of the court
The crowd
The twelve judges
The executioners
Soldiers
The young harlot
Rakes
Soldiers
The dead lovers


Time and Place
Middle Ages


Synopsis

Though still very young, Megildis is made a sacristan because of her goodness and piety. One day, when she opens the church to a group of pilgrims who have come from all corners of the earth because of the miracle power of the image of the Virgin Mary, she is embarrassed by a knight-errant who is looking at her. This does not go unnoticed by the minstrel, who is always present when mischief can be done. He makes Megildis give in to the temptation and roam the world with the knight. As Megildis is leaving the church, the Madonna steps out of the picture and takes her place. The sisters, upset about the loss of the image, want to punish the alleged Megildis because of her carelessness, but a secret power protects her. Wherever the real Megildis appears, the minstrel is present and causes mischief and death. The knight dies while protecting Megildis against a robber baron. The robber baron loses Megildis to the king’s son who is stabbed to death by his own father afterwards. When Megildis, accused as a witch, is about to be beheaded, the people liberate her. The minstrel still does not leave her side. At the end of her path of suffering she finds herself, completely exhausted, in front of the convent. There the Madonna takes off her nun’s garment and steps back into the picture. The sisters come and thank Megildis for the miraculous return of the patron saint. Was it all just a bad dream?


Moods
Dramatic, Poetic, Romantic


Subjects
Magic/Mystery, Relationships, Religion





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