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Music Text

Libretto by Fenouillot de Falbaire; German version by Herbert Trantow (G)


highS,M,buffoT,T,buffoBar,BBar; 2non-singing roles; male chorus;

Abbreviations (PDF)



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


World Premiere
Company: Unknown


MARTIN, speculator Bass baritone
JÉRÔME, his clerk Spieltenor
GRIPON, a dodgy banker Buffo tenor
HENRIETTE, his niece High soprano
MADELON, his housekeeper Mezzo soprano
ALI, captain of the Janissaries Buffo baritone
OSMAN, second commander Non-singing role
A messenger Non-singing role
The Janissaries
Time and Place

18th century, a public square in Smyrna


Martin and Gripon, two greedy crooks in Smyrna, one of them a speculator, the other one a dodgy banker, team up in order to find an alleged treasure in the pyramid. When Martin sees that there is no treasure, Gripon does not believe him and locks him in. Gripon has to hide from passing Janissaries and is now trapped himself. Jérôme, Martin’s journeyman, and Henriette, Gripon’s niece, are in love with each other. They have become aware that Martin and Gripon want to prevent their relationship because they have invested Jérôme’s and Henriette’s cash assets in their shady dealings. The only way out is to escape. That, however, is delayed by various misfortunes, and eventually the two lovers even liberate Martin and Gripon. Gripon learns that he has been cheated out of 200 ducats, and it is he of all people who concludes that there is no honesty in the world any more.



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