Orpheus und der Bürgermeister (1930)
Libretto by Robert Seitz (G)
T,B; mixed chorus; children's chorus; 1(=picc).1.2.asax.1-0.1.0.1-perc-hpd(=pft)-2vla.2vlc.
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
Berliner Rundfunk, Berlin
World stage premiere
Time and Place
In the streets of an imaginary town
Voices of the street, market criers, shouts. A child: 'Mum, who's that man over there, coming towards us? Look, he’s got naked legs and a short skirt!' Orpheus enters the square and delivers a short address. The people, he says, have got everything: cars, telephone, tennis, taxes, culture and even war. Only one thing is missing: a sense of good music! That is why he has come. His song is received enthusiastically by some, vehemently rejected by others. The mayor intervenes. Orpheus tells him that there is no remedy for music and that on former tours he was treated much better. The mayor orders the factory horns to be sounded and the fire-hose and machine guns to be set off. But everything turns into music. Orpheus is offered the post of general director of music, which he refuses for the sake of the late Offenbach. A year later, the first anniversary of Orpheus's visit is celebrated with a hymn: 'Music makes you young, music makes you slim, music is the best thing in the world!'