The Land of Smiles
(Das Land des Lächelns)
Music by Franz Lehár, adaptation by Hans May, Conrad Carter and Fred Tysh.
Theater an der Wein 9 February, 1923
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane 8 May, 1931
Schubert Theatre, New York 5 September, 1946
1) English by Harry Graham (Musical content detailed below
based on this version)
2) English by Christopher Hassall,
3) English by Jerry Hadley
SynopsisThe original production in this country at Drury Lane starred the incomparable Richard Tauber. A touching story, it tells of the love of a noble-minded Chinese Prince for the daughter of a Viennese aristocrat - a hopeless love, because 'East is East and West is West . . .' At the top of the list of the score's famous songs is the unforgettable "You Are My Heart's Delight".
The scene is the drawing room of Count Lichtenfel's house in Vienna in the year 1912. The Count is giving a party to celebrate the success of his daughter Lisa in a recent, important horse-show. In the background a waltz is played as Lisa appears. The guests propose her health and Lisa thanks them and invites them to join in the pleasure of the dance. The most prominent admirer of Lisa is the young Count Gustav von Pottenstein, an officer in the Hussars, popularly known as Gustl. He is desperately in love with Lisa but has never had the courage to tell her. This evening he means to do so for he has managed to save 20,000 Kroner, an amount which the government insisted that an officer should have before he marries. But Gustl is out of luck for Lisa has her heart set on another admirer, a Chinese diplomat, Prince Souchong, so she tells poor Gustl that they can only be friends, a proposal that he accepts with somewhat resignation.
Prince Souchong who has already sent a fine present, now arrives and is not slow in letting us know of his passion, how he enters the room with beating heart to know that his loved one is near but he hides his ardour under his inscrutable Chinese facade. Lisa greets the Prince thanking him for his present which turns out to be a valuable family heirloom. She is entranced by his oriental ways and invites him to join her for tea.
During the evening Prince Souchong receives a message from his Embassy to tell him that he has been made President of his country and that he must return to China immediately. Lisa realises that she is very much in love with him but is faced with having to make up her mind whether or not to accompany him to China or to remain, as her father tries to persuade her, in her own country and marry Gustl who is her proper partner. She decides that her love for Souchong is too strong and she leaves with him for China.
Lisa is now living in Peking as Souchong's wife. She is very happy, rich in her love and they have a great affection for each other. The President is praised by his loyal subjects and the virtues of their great country is expressed in song and a ballet. Souchong responds to the call of "The Yellow Jacket", the insignia of the highest office in the land.
Souchong has a charming sister Mi, very European in her ways, to the horror of her uncle Tschang, the Mandarin, who deplores her appearance after a tennis game. She has been playing with Gustl who has got himself appointed Austrian Military attaché to Peking so that he might keep an eye on Lisa. He enjoys the company of Mi.
Lisa, hearing news of her family through Gustl, is becoming homesick and asks Souchong to let her visit her home, but is very much afraid of losing her and refuses permission. Added to this problem she learns, to her horror, that according to custom, Souchong is to have four wives in addition to herself. Souchong tries to assure her that it is a mere formality and that it is her he truly loves. Lisa is not to be placated, she tries to reason with him only to be told that a Chinese wife must obey her husband implicitly.
Left with only Gustl to comfort her, she sings of her longing for her homeland. Souchong and Lisa quarrel and in the exchange of words Lisa says, "I hate you." Souchong's happiness is shattered, the love destroyed and he orders Lisa to be kept in the palace.
Imprisoned in the women's quarters of the palace, Lisa decides to leave Souchong and plans her escape. She asks Gustl to help her. The only way out is through the Temple and they enlist the help of Mi who, although sorrowful at losing Gustl, agrees to help them get away. As they enter the Temple they come face to face with Souchong. He realises he can no longer hold Lisa. Tenderly he bids her farewell and asks Gustl to look after her. Souchong and Mi comfort one another in their loss.
7 female, 10 male
Lisa - soprano
Prince Souchong - tenor
Mi (his sister) - soprano
Tschang (his uncle) - bass
Count Gustl von Pottenstein - tenor
(In order of their appearance)
GENERAL COUNT LICHTENFELS
CAPTAIN GUSTL VON PLOETZ LISA — General Lichtenfels' Daughter
FRANZ — Butler
LIEUTENANT RUDI VON WESTHOF
LORE, TONI, FRANZI, VALLI - Lisa's Friends
FOUR YOUNG OFFICERS
FU-LI — Secretary of the Chinese Embassy
PRINCE TSCHANG — Prince Sou-Chong's Uncle
MI — Prince Sou-Chong's Sister
CHI-FU — Major-Domo of the Women's Apartments
WONG-TAO — His attendant
THE FOUR BRIDES
CHORUS OF GUESTS, OFFICERS, CHINESE SERVANTS, SLAVE-GIRLS, MANDARINS, SOLDIERS, PAGES & DANCERS
COUNTESS ROHEIM - Mezzo-Soprano
COLONEL BLOCH - Baritone
GUSTL VON PLOETZ - Light Baritone
LISA - High Soprano
RUDI VON WESTHOF - Singing Comedian, Light Baritone
LORE - Soprano
TONI - Soprano
FRANZI - Alto
VALLI - Alto
FOUR YOUNG OFFICERS - 1st Tenor, 2nd Tenor, 1st Bass, 2nd Bass
SOU-CHONG - High Baritone
PARLOURMAIDS - Two Sopranos, Two Altos
MENSERVANTS - Two Tenors, Two Basses
MI - Soprano
CHI-FU - Comedian, Baritone
WONG-TAO - Comedian, Bass
THE FOUR BRIDES - Two Sopranos, Two Altos
The "FOUR YOUNG OFFICERS", taking part only in Nos.5a and 8a, and the four "PARLOURMAIDS" and four " MAIDSERVANTS", taking part only in No. 7, are played by MEMBERS OF THE CHORUS.
The name MI is pronounced "ME"
Scenes and Settings
ACT I — A reception room in the house of Major-General Count Lichtenfels in Vienna. Evening.
ACT II — A Hall in the Palace of Prince Sou-Chong in Peking (China). Six months later. Afternoon.
ACT III — The Garden Pavilion of the Women's Quarters in Sou-Chong's Palace. A week later. Evening.
- ONE MORE BALL - (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh. Music adapted
by Hans May) - Chorus
- WALTZ WHILE YOU MAY (Lyric by Harry Graham) - Lisa
2a REPRISE. WALTZ WHILE, YOU MAY - Orchestra
- THAT'S WHEN THE NIGHTINGALES SING (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh.
Music adapted by Hans May) - Lisa
- LET'S BE FRIENDS (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh (after Harry Graham).
Music adapted by Hans May) - Lisa, Gustl and Chorus
- A BUSY TIME IN LOVER'S LANE (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh. Music
adapted by Hans May) - Rudi, Lore, Toni, Franzi, Valli
5a REPRISE A BUSY TIME IN LOVER'S LANE - Rudi, Lore, Toni, Franzi, Valli and 4 Officers
- PATIENTLY SMILING (Lyric by Harry Graham) - Sou-Chong
- A CUP OF TEA WITH YOU (Lyrics by Harry Graham and Fred
S. Tysh. Music adapted by Hans May) - Lisa, Sou-Chong and
- YOU'RE NOT TOO OLD! (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh. Music adapted
by Hans May) - Countess Roheim and Colonel Bloch
8a REPRISE - A BUSY TIME IN LOVERS' LANE - Lore, Toni, Franzi, Valli and 4 Officers
- LONELY SERENADE (Lyric by Harry Graham) - Sou-Chong
and Girls Chorus
- I HAVE SEARCHED THE EARTH (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh. Music
adapted by Hans May) - Lisa and Sou-Chong
10a FINALE ACT I (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh and Harry Graham. Music adapted by Hans May) - All 1st Act Principals and Chorus
- THE YELLOW JACKET (Lyric by Harry Graham and Fred S. Tysh.
Music adapted by Hans May) - Sou-Chong and Chorus
- THE CHINESE BALLET (Music adapted by Hans May) - Dancers
- LOVE! WHAT HAS GIVEN YOU THIS MAGIC POWER? (Lyric by Harry
Graham) - Lisa, Sou-Chong and Chorus
- THE ONLY THING I CARE ABOUT (Lyric by Harry Graham)
- Mi and Girls Chorus
- LOVE'S A GAME! (Lyric by Harry Graham, revised by Fred
S. Tysh) - Gustl, Mi and Chorus
- YOU ARE MY HEART'S DELIGHT (Lyric by Harry Graham)
- GIVE ME A GIRL! (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh. Music adapted by
Hans May) - Chi-Fu, Rudi and Gustl
- YOU BRING BACK THE PAST (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh. Music adapted
by Hans May) - Lisa, Gustl and Chorus
- MY HOMELAND (Lyric by Harry Graham. Music adapted by Hans
May) - Lisa and Chorus
- DAY OF DAYS (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh. Music adapted by Hans May)
- Sou-Chong, Brides and Chorus
- FINALE ACT II (Lyric by Harry Graham and Fred S. Tysh.
Music adapted by Hans May) - Lisa, Sou-Chong and Chorus
- AND THE END IS GOODBYE (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh (after Harry
Graham). Music adapted by Hans May) - Lisa and Slave-Girls
24a REPRISE - YOU ARE MY HEART'S DELIGHT - Sou-Chong and Chorus
- ON THE PAI-HO! (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh (Title by Harry Graham).
Music adapted by Hans May) - Mi, Gustl, Rudi, Wong-Tao
- NO OTHER LOVE (Lyric by Fred S. Tysh. Music adapted by
Hans May) - Lisa, Gustl and Mi
26a REPRISE - LOVE's A GAME - Mi
- FINALE ACT III (Lyric by Harry Graham and Fred S. Tysh. Music adapted by Hans May) - Lisa, Gustl, Sou-Chong, Mi, and Chorus
flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, bassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, percussion, harp, strings.
2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, 3 percussion, harp, celeste, stage music, strings