Das Dreimäderlhaus

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Das Dreimäderlhaus ("House of the Three Girls") is a Viennese operetta, with music by Franz Schubert (1797–1828)[1], rearranged by Heinrich Berté (1857–1924)[2], with a libretto by Alfred Maria Willner (1859–1929)[3] and Heinz Reichert (1877-1940)[4].

The original text

Set in Old Vienna it tells of the shy, young composer, Franz Schubert, who writes a beautiful love song to his beloved Mitzi, bt then gets his best friend Baron Schober to sing it to her. She falls in love with the singer instead of poor Franz, who has to find consolation in their happiness and in his music.

The work is adapted from Rudolf Hans Bartsch's 1912 biographic novel called Schwammerl. Ein Schubert-Roman, published by Staackmann, Leipzig in 1912.

The operatic stage version was first performed at the Raimundtheater, Vienna - on 15 January, 1916, and it was an immediate success. The operetta is said to have gone on to receive productions in over 60 countries and the libretto has been translated into numerous languages[5].

Translations and adaptations

A French adaptation by Hugues Delorme (1868-1942)[6] and Léon Abric (1869-1942)[7] called Chanson d'Amour ("Song of Love") premiéred in Paris on May 7, 1921, to great acclaim.

Adapted and translated into English as Blossom Time by Dorothy Donnelly (1880-1928)[8] and music arranged by Sigmund Romberg (1887–1951)[9] it was performed at the Ambassador's Theatre, Broadway on 29 September, 1921.

Lilac Time, a play with music in three acts; original book by A M Willner and Heinz Reichert, new English book and lyrics by Phil Park and Adam Carstairs, music by Franz Schubert adapted by Heinrich Berte [10].

Adapted and translated into English as Lilac Time by Adrian Ross (1859–1933)[11], with music arranged by George H. Clutsam (1866–1951)[12], using some of Berté's work. This was first performed at the Lyric Theatre, London on 22 December, 1922. NOTE: The operetta is not to be confused with Cowl and Murfin's 1917 romantic play also called Lilac Time.

It was filmed as Blossom Time in 1934, starring Richard Tauber (1891–1948)[13] as Schubert.

Performance history in South Africa

1953: Performed in English as Lilac Time by the Port Elizabeth Musical and Dramatic Society in November. Directed by Leontine Sagan, with Percy W. Pickering, Phyllis C. Taylor, Molly Tomalin, Ruth Thomas, Bill Turner, Victor Borgognano, Carl Scott, Rupert Bellairs, Monica Hunter, Joyce Scotcher, Valerie Stirk, Basil Lavender, William Woodin, Arthur White, George Jones, Ernest Barnes, Ronald W. Davis, Colin Neilson, Wynton Ferreira, Nellie Bonny, Elaine Campbell, and Molly Kauffman. Musical direction by Robert Selley, dances choreographed by Bessie Collett, set design by Solly Price, stage management by Cliff Collett, lighting by Alyn Lane, props by Joan Adey. Costumes executed under the personal supervision of Leontine Sagan, while Ivy Foster and Lorraine Victor were the prompts and Nellie Bonny the wardrobe mistress. Business and publicity matters were handled by Harold Davidson and the programme cover was designed by Maurice Weightman.

1964: The Adrian Ross version was presented by African Consolidated Theatres at the Alhambra Theatre, directed by Tom Arnold, musical direction by Harry Acres, starring Thomas Round and Marion Studholme, from 27 October to 7 November.

1977: The Phil Park and Adam Carstairs version was presented by The Durban Opera Group, produced by Dorothy Avrich, conducted by Claudia Fanner.
















Lilac Time theatrical programme - 1953.


Theatre programme (1964 production) held by NELM: [Collection: KORT, Maurice]: 2012. 379. 20. 23 and two other locations.

Theatre programme (1977 production) held by NELM: [Collection: KORT, Maurice]: 2012. 379. 20. 24.

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