• Find us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on Instagram
  • View Our YouTube Channel
  • Listen on Spotify
  • View our scores on nkoda

English Deutsch
Music Text

Libretto by Peter Schütze after the novel by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (G)



Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
Opernhaus, Dortmund
Pet Halmen, director
Conductor: Laurent Wagner
Company: Theater Dortmund


FRIEDRICH MERGEL and his look-alike, JOHANNES Tenor
MARGRETH SEMMLER, his mother Mezzo Soprano
SIMON, his uncle Baritone
AARON, a Jew Baritone
ERNST VON S., a landowner Bass
Young girl, later bride and FRAU HüLSMEYER Soprano
The old FRAU HüLSMEYER Contralto
KRAPP, the court scribe Bass
JENTE, Aaron's wife Soprano

Friedrich Mergel is not accepted by the youth of the village. As a result of his fondess for young Marlies, he even gets in a row with Wilm Hülsmeyer, the leader of a gang of village lads. Friedrich agrees on an engagement with Simon, a leader of a gang of wood thieves. During his first nightly job, the forester Brandis is killed after Friedrich has deliberately misled him. He does not tell the police but wants to confess. Simon manages to prevent this with some effort. At the wedding of Wilm Hülsmeyer and Marlies, Friedrich suddenly appears in fashionable clothes and accompanied by a prostitute. He shows off his watch, for which the Jew Aaron then demands to be paid; he, however, is driven away amidst scorn and laughter. Shortly afterwards, Aaron is found slain under a beech tree. Friedrich escapes, after his look-alike, Johannes Niemand (Simon’s swineherd), has also been driven out of the village. Years later, Friedrich returns to the village and pretends to be Johannes Niemand. The villagers accept him and he seems to have got away with it …


Dramatic, Tragic


Ethics, Relationships, Society

Stay updated on the latest composer news and publications