Books Music, Stage Screen The Polish Jew: Folk-Opera In Two Acts (Classic Reprint)

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Read online or download a free book: The Polish Jew: Folk-Opera In Two Acts (Classic Reprint)

Pages: 24

Language: English

Publisher: Forgotten Books (27 Sept. 2015)

By: Karel Weis (Author)

Book format: pdf doc docx mobi djvu epub ibooks (*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.)

Excerpt from The Polish Jew: Folk-Opera in Two Acts

The two-act opera of 'The Polish Jew' ('Der Polnische Jude') is based upon a French original by Erekmann-Chatrian, on which the famous play of 'The Bells,' one of Sir Henry Irving's greatest successes, was also founded.

Karel Weis, the composer, was born in Prague in 1862, and is still living in his native city. This opera is one of his earlier works, dated 1901.


Act I.

The entire action takes place in the inn of Burgomaster Mathis, in an Alsatian village. The opening scene is in the dance hall, with preparations for the betrothal feast of Christian, a young police official, and Annette, the daughter of Mathis.

Christian has been delayed by the heavy snow, but arrives after some anxiety on the part of Annette, and her mother. Katharine. The two lovers exchange endearments and are interrupted by Schmitt, a bluff forester, who tells the story of the Polish Jew and his mysterious murder, fifteen years before.

It was just such a winter as this, and The Jew, a dealer in grain, came to this very inn, flung a gold-filled belt upon the table, and later went to bed. In the morning his horse was found, unharnessed, by the river-bank, and nearby lay The Jew's fur cap and mantle, soaked with blood. But the man himself had disappeared completely, and the mystery was never solved.

Mathis enters and makes preparations for the ceremony, eventually sending the rest off to church. While they are gone, he counts his gold and lays aside a dowry for Annette.

The neighbors and witnesses arrive for the betrothal, with the lawyer, Antonio, and feasting and dancing ensue. The wind whistles outside, and suddenly a window-pane crashes to the floor. The dance is interrupted by the sound of sleigh-bells, and a Polish Jew enters. He greets the company and flings a girdle on the table, exactly as did his counterpart fifteen years before. Mathis who for years had been tormented by an illusion of bells jangling in his ears, breaks down, and is taken to his bed, while The Jew is also given a room.

Act II.

Mathis is in his bed-room. The guests are departing. One hears distant singing. Mathis thinks he hears the sleigh-bells again, but Niclas, his man, quiets him. Mathis begins to suffer the pangs of conscience. He prays, and finally falls into a dream, which is completely enacted on the stage.

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This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully: any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

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