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Suppé, Franz von

Leichte Kavallerie (1866)

(Light Cavalry)
Duration: 150 minutes
Musical folkplay in three acts

Libretto by Hans Bodenstedt; new musical arrangement by Horst Platen (rev.1952) (G)

2S,2T,comic actors; chorus; ballet; 2(II=picc).2.2.3sax.2-
Abbreviations (PDF)

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

World Premiere
Carlstheater, Vienna
Company: Unknown

World premiere of version
Company: Unknown


COUNT ADOLAR VON RHEINFELSYoung Comedian or Buffo Tenor
COUNTESS ILONKA CSIKOSSoubrette Soprano, dancing
BARON VON BREDERECKCharacter comedian
ILSE, his daughterSoprano
HANS-WOLF VON ALTEN, cavalry captain of the "red hussars"Tenor
ZINKE, a non-commissioned officerCharacter comedian
APFELBAUM, a trumpeterCharacter comedian
LENEKIN, factotum at Rheinfels castle, former sutlerCharacter comedian (female)
MARQUIS FONTAINE, Pandure officer
The schoolmaster, the parson, the woodman
FRANZ, a servant of Bredereck
Dancers of the count's ballet, people, Pandures, citizens

Time and Place
Reception hall in the town castle of Bredereck and hall and courtyard at the vegetable garden in the castle of Rheinfels around 1750


In the palace of the Baron von Bredereck a group in opposition to Earl Adolar von Rheinfels discuss what can be done about the way he gives preference to his mistresses. For since he became a slave of the dancer Countess Ilonka Csikos ("a Lola Montez type"), he has been ruining the state's finances in order to fund her ballet company, the "light cavalry" as people mockingly refer to it. In addition, he endangers the political balance, revoking all old alliances and, for Ilonka's sake, fraternizing with the Hungarian Pandures. Hans-Wolf von Athen, a genuine German man through and through (who was once in Ilona's hands, when he was still lieutenant of the queen of Hungary), has – as Adolar has been told – recruited a real cavalry in the surrounding principalities in order to drive the Pandures and their un-German, dissolute life from the principality of Rheinfels. Adolar tries to win over Earl Benecke as a commander against the rebels, but Benecke refuses to obey. Hans-Wolf turns up at Benecke's incognito and confesses that there is no cavalry because none of his allies takes Earl Adolar seriously anymore and therefore no one wants to provide soldiers. The situation is serious, but not without hope…

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