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Music Text

Weinberg, Mieczyslaw (R); Fanning, David (E); Duffek, Hans-Ulrich (G)


1(=picc).0.2(II=bcl).asax.0-[5 string db] or full set)-tape:children's chorus/female chorus/male chorus

Tech Requirements

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Abbreviations (PDF)




LADY MAGNESIA, his wife Soprano
PHYLLIS, Lady Magnesia's maid Mezzo-soprano
ADOLPHUS BASTABLE, footman Baritone

Lady Magnesia desires to go to sleep and asks her chambermaid Phyllis to prepare the bed. While a terrible storm rages outside, Phyllis, plagued by premonitions, sets to work. The Lady retires to rest, but soon thereafter her jealous husband, Lord Fitztollemache, sneaks into the bedroom with drawn dagger in order to murder his wife. Lady Magnesia awakens with a fright and asks what the appearance with the dagger is supposed to mean. The Lord
quick-wittedly answers that the drawn dagger is a present from his mother. Somewhat disappointed, she remarks that she had actually wished for a fish knife ...
The nocturnal conversation is interrupted by a knocking on the door. It is Adolphus, the Lady’s lover, who wants to show off his new wardrobe. The young dandy is let in, and Lord George prepares drinks for everyone. They clink glasses, and a few moments later Adolphus collapses with severe abdominal pains – the Lord had mixed his drink with poisoned soda water. While the victim writhes in convulsions, the Lady reflects upon love, and declares that in view of the tragic circumstances she will transfer her feelings of love from Adolphus to her husband – and, on the other hand, will mourn for her lover like a faithful wife. Lord George is somewhat alarmed by the twist in the situation and the associated prospects, and since Adolphus clearly prefers not to die, if at all possible, it is decided to try an antidote. The Lord recommends a high dosage of chalk. After the distraught lover has first tried it with plaster broken out of the ceiling, Phyllis is summoned. She gives orders for Lady Magnesia’s plaster busts to be dissolved in hot water. Adolphus finally drinks the concoction, which instantly provides him with a wonderful alleviation of his pains – and a gentle death.
Lord George and Lady Magnesia are moved and deeply touched. Through the ingestion of the large amount of plaster, the gallant has in death petrified into his own statue. They reverently erect Adolphus’s statue, which in a gesture of blessing, so to speak, spreads his arms over the Fitztollemaches.

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