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L'AMICO FRITZ

Cover to cast recording

Music by Pietro Mascagni
Libretto by P. Suardon after the novel by M. M. Erckmann-Chatrian
English translation by Frederic Weatherly

THE STORY

(Alsace; the present)

While celebrating his fortieth birthday with friends, Fritz complains to David that he has been asked to provide the dowry for two neighbours who want to get married. When Fritz goes on to confess that he cannot understand why people fall in love, David wagers that within a year he too will be married. Fritz scorns the suggestion but accepts the bet, and they agree to make Fritz's vineyard the prize. However, contrary to expectation, Fritz finds himself gradually captivated by Suzel whose father is the steward at his farm. On a visit to Fritz at the farm, David discovers that Suzel has become very fond of her master. He decides to test Fritz's true feelings for her, and he tells him that he has found Suzel a suitable husband whom her father approves of. Fritz is horrified at this news and has to admit to himself that he is in love with Suzel. Worried about the consequences of his feelings, he takes his leave of her immediately without even saying goodbye. However, he is unable to forget her and when David asks Fritz for his consent in order for her wedding to take place, he refuses to give it. He asks Suzel if she really intends to marry and when she pleads with him to rescue her from the unwanted match, he finally reveals his love for her. The two look forward to a blissful future together; David has won his bet.

PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS (plus Chorus)

Fritz Kobus (A Rich Bachelor Landowner)
Suzel (A Farmer's Daughter)
Beppe A Gypsy)
David (A Rabbi)
Hanezo } Friend of Fritz
Federico } Friend of Fritz
Caterina (Fritz's Housekeeper)

PRINCIPAL MUSICAL NUMBERS

Son Pochi Fiori (Suzel)
Suzel, Buon Di (Fritz)
Intermezzo (Orchestra)
O Amore, O Bella Luce Del Core (Fritz)

INSTRUMENTATION

2 Flutes (1 Piccolo); ; 2 Oboes; 2 Clarinets ; 2 Bassoons; 4 Horns; 2 Trumpets; 3 Trombones; 1 Tuba; 1 Timpani; 2 Percussion; 1 Harp; Strings; On-stage violin and oboe; 1 Full Score