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Music Text

Libretto after Gustav Davis; new version and musical arrangement by Ralph Benatzky (G)


4S,2T,4Bar; chorus; ballet;

Abbreviations (PDF)



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


World Premiere
Theater an der Wien, Vienna
Company: Unknown


CHRISTOF HEFELE, head of the council Baritone
MALVINE, his wife Soprano
FREDA, their daughter Soprano
TYMOLEON VON GERIUS, chief forest superintendent and director of the forest academy Baritone
BOTHO WENDT, a young elegant nobleman Tenor
ERICH, a journeyman forester Tenor
PAULINE GARLANDT, a singer Soprano
REGINA, their friend non-singing role
ERASMUS FRIEDRICH MÜLLER, professor of botany non-singing role
JEANNE, Pauline’s chambermaid Soprano
SEBASTIAN, Hefele's servant non-singing role
THERESE, Hefele's maid non-singing role
DANNER, Hefele's assistant non-singing role
MARTIN, foreman of the labourers in the forest mill non-singing role
LORENZ and PETER, mill labourers non-singing roles
Notables, Foresters, Millers, Servants, Hunting party, Journeyman foresters, Pauline's friends
Time and Place

Small forest town in central Germany, towards the end of the 19th century


A merry motley hunting party, consisting of journeyman foresters, the beautiful opera singer Pauline and her friend Botho von Wendt, is caught in a storm and finds shelter in the forest mill. There they change their soaked hunting dresses for dry miller's clothing, which provides camouflage when, shortly afterwards, chief forest superintendent Tymoleon von Gerius bursts in. He is ordered by Hefele, head of the council, to teach the young people manners. Botho learns that Tymoleon is devoted to the beautiful 'forest fairy' Freda, Hefele's charming daughter, who he just met in the forest und who he instantly fell in love with. They all know that Tymoleon, a notorious womanizer, is not the right one for Freda and that he has to be taught a lesson. Pauline takes the necessary steps. After a turbulent engagement ceremony (at which a self-made lime-blossom tea has a surprising effect), nothing remains as it used to be: Botho gets Freda, Tymoleon receives gratuitous compensation, and the mystery of the ‘black woodruff’ is unexpectedly disclosed.



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