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Music Text

Libretto by Albert Vanloo, Eugène Leterrier and Arnold Mortier (F); German versions by Stefan Troßbach, Wolfgang Quetes and Karl Kraus (F,G)


3S,M,2T,Bar,BBar; mixed chorus;
reduced orchestration by Jean-Christophe Keck: 2(II=picc).1.2.1- machine-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)



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



KING VLAN Baritone
PRINCE CAPRICE Soprano (or Tenor)
MICROSPCOPE, savant Tenor
KOSMOS, Moon King Bass-Baritone
POPOTTE, Moon Queen Mezzo-Soprano
PRINCESS FANTASIA, their daughter Soprano
FLAMMA, court lady (Mezzo-)Soprano
CACTUS, savant at Kosmos's court Tenor
People, astronomers, blacksmiths and gunmen
Inhabitants of the Moon, court ladies and guards

Act 1
On the Earth: King Zack's country has reached a disastrous state. After many decades of reign, Zack wants to pass on the power to the next generation. But his son, the heir to the throne Prince Caprice, has just returned from a trip around the world and has no plans to succeed his father - he dreams of a new adventure ... a trip to the Moon! The scientist and court scholar Microscope is commissioned to make this journey possible. A group of astronomers engaged in unproductive discussions is no help to him. Instead, he assigns a blacksmith to forge a cannon that will be used to transport Caprice to the Moon. Although reluctant at first, Microscope and even Zack himself join the Prince. To the cheers of the people, the three astronauts climb into the space capsule and - "whoosh!" - off they go. They are lucky to have packed enough supplies, including a lot of apples.

Act 2
On the Moon: With great concern, the inhabitants of the Moon catch sight of the approaching space capsule. Cosmos, the king of the Moon, is surprised about the terrestrial visitors since he has always considered the Earth to be uninhabitable. While Caprice and Microscope take a liking to the female lunar population, Cosmos is overcome with fear and orders the intruders to be arrested. Princess Fantasia, however, is able to convince her father to be merciful. In the royal palace, the terrestrials learn some essential facts about the world of their hosts: On the Moon love does not exist and the offspring is brought from a distant "Land of Children". Caprice has other worries: He is frustrated by his unsuccessful courtship of Fantasia and thus does not attend the royal banquet. He satisfies his hunger with an apple brought from Earth. When Fantasia also takes a bite of the unknown delicacy, it sparks a yet unknown emotion in her ... love!

Act 3
Since love is regarded as a disease on the Moon, the princess afflicted by that fever is shielded by guards. Cosmos, overwhelmed with his daughter's condition, decides to draw on an outdated custom and sell Fantasia at the women's market. Caprice has a sudden inspiration to save her: Since Cosmos accuses his daughter of being in love, the only salvation might be if he were too ... So, Caprice secretly administers a love potion made from apples to the royal couple. The plan gets out of control when Cosmos falls in love with his own wife, only to find that she has eyes for Microscope. Suddenly, a heavy snowstorm hits and everything freezes.

Act 4
The "Sea of Frost" has covered the entire surface of the Moon. Cosmos suggests to the freezing people of the Earth and his teethrattling entourage that they seek refuge together in an extinct volcano. Once inside the sheltering crater a volcanic eruption takes everyone by surprises. The explosion transports them all back to the surface of the Moon. Happy to have survived, both the lunar inhabitants and the people form the Earth are facing an uncertain future. But then they see the Earth rising on the horizon... Could it be the planet that saves them?
© Volksoper Wien – The plot was summarised by Magdalena Hoisbauer, English translation by Sylvia Schlacher.


Comic, Poetic



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