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The Duchess

A comic opera in 3 Acts. Book and lyrics by Joseph Herbert and Harry B. Smith; Music by Victor Herbert

Originally presented in previews variously as The Rose Shop, Rosita, Mlle. Rosita and Mlle. Boutonnière

Lyric Theatre, New York. Opened 16th October. 1911. Closed 4th November, 1911 (24 performances)


Foppish Count de Paravante wants to marry Rose, a florist's daughter, but is prevented from marrying anyone below a marquise. So Rose agrees to wed an unknown marquis who is leaving for Africa, divorce him, and marry the count. But Rose and Phillipe, the marquis, fall in love, and the count is sent on his way.

Musical Numbers

  1. Opening Song - Aristide and Chorus - "Fragrant blossoms, wet with dew, radiant as the morn, flow'rets fair of ev'ry hue nature's breast adorn..."
  2. Song - Marianne - "Poets sing of nights in June, when stars shine bright, always rhyming spoon and moon, their chief delight..."
  3. Song - Adolphe and Men - "Seeking knowledge I have travelled; knotty problems I've unravelled, from the land of the equator to the chilly frigid zone..."
  4. Auction Song - Rose, Angelique and Men - "Vive la belle Rose! The queen of the flow'rs ... I thank you for the sentiment, it fairly overpow'rs! ..."
  5. Trio - Rose, Adolphe and Aristide - "Now isn't it nawsty of Papaw to reject such a beautiful daughter-in-law? My brain's in a whirl..."
  6. Melodramatic Music
  7. Song - Rose - "Oh Cupid, pray tell why you deny and refuse to comply, whene'er I ask your kindly aid? No response to my prayer, ah why? ..."
  8. Finale Act I - "My friends, congratulations are in order. This massive concocted quite a scheme; Great happiness to Rose it will afford her..."
  9. Opening Waltz Music
  10. Spoken Verse - Angelique - "Some people delight all their troubles rehearsing, but troubles, like babies, grow larger by nursing..."
  11. Duet - Marianne and Boni - "You have heard of pretty Sally who resided in an alley, and was courted by her sweetheart on the one day..."
  12. March Song - Philippe and Girls - "Maiden with beauty laden 'neath sunny Eastern skies; glances, as keen as lances, from midnight eyes flash..."
  13. Duet - Rose and Philippe - "When out on the desert 'neath sun's torrid ray, I longed for night's mantle to blot out the day..."
  14. Finale Act II - "She is your wife! ... My wife? ... His wife! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! In name alone! ..."
  15. The Hunt - "When in gladsome dewy morn Nature, clothed in verdure grey; when the autumn leaves adorn hedge and field in bright array..."
  16. Song - Angelique and Chorus - "I once had a name in the annals of fame when I danced on the stage in the ballet! ..."
  17. Hunting Song - Rose and Chorus - "The cheery horn resounds, unleash the baying hounds; o'er hill and dale and woodland vale the patter of hoofs..."
  18. Song - Boni and Chorus - "Life is made of ups and downs, it's all a game of chance; tragedy, romance, leading us a dance..."
  19. Finale Ultimo - "Ta-ran-ta ra ra! Ta-ran-ta ra ra! Ta-ran-ta ra tan-ta ra, tan-ta ra ra..."

    Added Numbers:

  20. Solo (singer not specified) - "Zephyrs of summer are free, ever happy and free; ah! bees mid the clover are roving, from care they are free..."
  21. Duet - Angelique and Paravente - "I've always been a romantic little thing; it isn't ev'ry man that I could marry..."
  22. Song - Rose and Chorus - "When a girl is still unmarried, just a simple foolish maid, ev'ry love attack is parried, for of men she's quite afraid..."
  23. Song - Aristide and Chorus - "In the grand old days of chivalry, in the glorious days of yore, there was romance then, and men were men..."


Synopsis of Scenes