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Wizard of the Nile


A Comic Opera in 3 Acts. Libretto by Harry B. Smith. Music by Victor Herbert.

Casino Theatre, New York - 4th November, 1895 - 1 February, 1896 (105 perfs)
Harlem Opera House - 17 February, 1896 (8 perfs)
Harlem Opera House - 28 September, 1896 (8 perfs)


Drought plagues the land of Egypt. However, a magician with an eye to the main chance, Kibosh, offers to bring rain. He does. Unfortunately he was too successful as the rain will not stop. Flooding on a disastrous scale follows.

The King orders Kibosh to be sealed in a tomb, only to find his zealous courtiers has sealed him in as well. He is so grateful to escape alive that in his enthusiasm, he pardons Kibosh.

Meanwhile we learn of a romantic encounter by Cleopatra with a musician, Ptarmigan. However, the lovers go their separate ways as Cleopatra settles down to await the arrival of Mark Antony.

Musical Numbers


  1. "Father Nile, Keep Us in Thy Care" (Opening Chorus) - Boatmen, Water-carriers
  2. "Song of the Optimist" (Duet and Chorus) - Obeliska, Cheops, Chorus
  3. "Strew the Way with Flow'rets Blooming" (Oriental March) - Almehs (Dancing Girls), Amazons
  4. "I am the Ruler" (Duet with Chorus) - Ptolemy, Simoona, Chorus
  5. "That's One Thing a Wizard Can Do" (Solo with Chorus) - Kibosh, Chorus
  6. "Pure and White Is the Lotus" Chorus
  7. "I Have Been A-Maying" (Solo with Chorus) - Cleopatra, Chorus
  8. "What Is Love?" (Duet) - Kibosh, Cleopatra
  9. "When the Bugles Are Calling" (Solo) - Ptarmigan
  10. "Bang, Bang, the Most Harmonious Song" - Chorus
  11. "Incantation" - Simoona, Chorus
  12. "A Cheer for Kibosh" (Finale Act 1) - Principals, Chorus


  1. "List to Our Matin Serenade" (Opening Serenade) - Abydos, Cheops, Pages
  2. "If I Were a King" (Duet) - Ptarmigan, Cleopatra
  3. "On Cleopatra's Wedding Day" (Quintette) - Cleopatra, Abydos, Simoona, Ptolemy, Cheops
  4. "My Angeline" (Song of the Human Snake) - Kibosh, Chorus
  5. Finale Act 2 - Principals, Chorus


  1. "Stonecutters' Song" (Work Away with a Song, My Boys) - Ptarmigan, Chorus
  2. "In Dreamland" (Solo) Cleopatra
  3. "Star Light, Star Bright" (Waltz Quintette) - Abydos, Simoona, Kibosh, Cheops, Kibosh
  4. "To the Pyramid" (Pages' Chorus) - Abydos, Chorus
  5. "The Echo Song" (Duet and Chorus) - Kibosh, Ptolemy, Chorus of Pages
  6. Finale Act 3 - Principals, Chorus


Royal Guards, Nobles, Citizens, Pages, Maids-of-Honour, Dancing Girls, Galley Slaves, etc.

Scenes and settings

The action takes place in ancient Egypt.

Act 1: Public Square in Alexandria.
Act 2: Terraced roof of the King's palace.
Act 3: Interior of the King's private pyramid.