(Wenn die kleinen Veilchen Blühen)
A musical play by Bruno Hardt-Warden: English book by Hassard Short, Desmond Carter and Reginald Purdell: English Lyrics by Desmond Carter: Music by Robert Stoltz
Produced at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane - 31 October, 1932
An operetta that traces the courtships and assignations and misunderstandings of pupils at a finishing school and students at the university. It contains lovely music by the composer of White Horse Inn, intelligent lyrics and a charming, unsubtle story. It is technically easy to produce and is costumed in colourful Alpine, Austrian and modern dress. There are opportunities for jolly and unsophisticated dances.
Mr Paul Hoffman and his two friends arrive at The Stone Jug, a mountain inn, on their way to an annual school reunion. We are then taken back to the early part of the century when Paul, Otto and Erik friends and students at a college, are waiting outside a neighbouring school. They are hoping to see three girls - Liesel, Mitzi and Lena. Otto and Liesel are fond of each other. Paul, however, bets that within twenty-four hours he can win Liesel's affection. The boys go along to see Madame Hoffman, the Headmistress of the girls' school, to ask for her help during a forthcoming students' celebration. Madame Hoffman, who is Paul's aunt, is extremely uncooperative. While she is welcoming a new pupil - Mary Rutherford - Paul intercepts a telegram which is meant to inform Madame Hoffman that the new music master, Dr Franck, will not be able to arrive until the following day. In order to ingratiate himself with the girls, Paul makes an 'arrival' at the school disguised as Dr Franck. There is a great uproar when the real Dr Franck arrives. Realising that as a result of this episode he will not be allowed near the school again, Paul and Mary arrange a rendezvous outside the school and depart to get married. We come back to the. present day, certain that Paul's son Carl will learn a lesson from his father's past.
The cast calls for 2 baritones, one tenor or high baritone, three mezzos and two sopranos, all of whom should be young. There are many good singing roles and a funny script for a comedian.
The score is full of excellent quartets, sextets and ensembles. Sols include, "Don't Say Good-bye" and "You Just You". The general vocal chorus work is pleasant and melodious but never heavy.
By omitting reference to dates this musical can be as up-to-date as you wish it to be.
PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS (plus Chorus)
Principal Musical Numbers
(Total number of books = 15)
Flute, Oboe, 2Bb Clarinets, Bassoon;
2 Horns, 2 Bb Trumpets, Trombone;
Percussion (including glockenspiel and vibraphone), Piano;