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Cover to Vocal Score

Lilac Time

Music by Franz Schubert: Adapted by Heinrich Berté and C.H. Clutsam. Book and Lyrics by Adrian Ross, based on the operetta Das Dreimäderlhaus by A.M. Willner and Heinz Reichert, adapted from the novel Schwammerl by Dr. Raimer H. Bartsch.

Raimundtheater, Vienna - 15 January, 1916
Lyric Theatre, London - 22 December, 1922
Ambassador's Theatre, Broadway - 29 September, 1921 (as Blossom Time: adapted by Dorothy Donnelly and music arranged by Signmund Romberg)
For amateur performance there is a new adaptation by Phil Park and Ronald Hanmer


Old Vienna - and the shy, young composer, Franz Schubert, writes a beautiful love song to his beloved Mitzi. But he gets his best friend Baron Schober to sing it to her, and she falls in love with him instead of poor Franz, who has to find consolation in their happiness - and in his music. Delightful sub-plots concern Mitzi's two attractive sisters and their boyfriends, a temperamental prima-donna and a jealous Count. Famed and loved all over the world for more than half a century, this is a charming show with excellent comedy - and immortal music.

Musical Numbers:

  1. Opening Number - Oh the Maytime is a Gaytime
  2. Just a Little Ring - Lili, Tilli and Willi
  3. Four Jolly Brothers - Schober, Vogl, Schwind and Kappel
  4. Hark, Hark! The Lark! - Schubert, Schober, Vogl, Schwind and Kappel
  5. Under the Lilac Bough - Schubert, Schober, Vogl, Schwind and Kappel
  6. The Golden Song - Lili and Schubert
  7. Serenade - Schober
  8. Dance of Bridesmaids and Children
  9. Dream Enthralling - Schubert
  10. When Skies Are Blue - Lili, Tilli, Willi, Schober, Binder and Braun
  11. The Flower - Lili and Schibert
  12. Girls and Boys - Mrs Veit and Veit
  13. I Want To Carve Your Name - Finale act II
  14. Strolling Through the Morning Air - Promenade Septet
  15. My Sweetest Song Of All - Schubert
  16. Maiden Try To Smile - Lili and Schober
  17. I Ask the Spring Blossom Laden - Finale Act III.


9 female (1 non-singing), 10 male (1 non-singing), 1 boy (non-singing)

  • Mrs Grimm - a caretaker
  • Mrs Weber - a lodger
  • Rosi - Marini's maid
  • Novotny - a detective
  • Ferdinand Binder - a postmaster
  • Andreas Braun - a saddler
  • Schani - a page
  • Tilli, Willi, Lili - Mr Veit's three daughters
  • Johann Michael Vogl - an opera singer
  • Moritz von Schwind - a painter
  • Kappel - a draughtsman
  • Baron Franz von Schober - a poet
  • Franz Schubert
  • Christian Veit - Court glass maker
  • Count Scharntorff - Danish Ambassador
  • Stingl - a confectioner
  • Mrs Veit
  • Sally - a servant tp Veit
  • Demoiselle Fiammetta Marini (La Marinella) - Prima Ballerina at the Opera

Street Musicians, Servant, Children Guests, Vienna Police

Synopsis of Scenery

Act I - The Courtyard of a lodging house
Act II - A sitting room in Christian Veit's House
Act III - The Prater


flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, bassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, percussion, harp, strings

For amateur performance - adaptation by Phil Park and Ronald Hanmer


Mitzi, Litzi, Fritzi — charming Viennese girls
Mrs. Zell — their mother
Otto Zell — their father
Adelina Taliani — a famous singer
Mrs. Krauss — a caretaker
Mrs. Weber — a housewife
Rosi — Taliani's maid
Tilli — maid at the Zells' house
Franz Schubert — a composer
Baron Franz von Schober — a poet
Johann Vogl — a singer
Moritz von Schwind — a painter
Ludwig Kuppel — a draughtsman
Ferdinand Binder — a postman
Andreas Brun — a saddler
Novotny — a detective
Count Scharntorff — man-about-town
Piccolo — an errand boy

Citizens of Vienna — tradespeople, townspeople, soldiers, etc.

Scenes & Settings

Act 1 : The Forecourt of a Lodging House
Act 2 : The Drawing-room in the Zells' House (A few weeks later)
Act 3 : The Prater (next morning)

Place: VIENNA TIME: Early 1820s

Notes on Principal Characters

  • MITZI - youngest of the three respectable-middle-class Zell sisters. Charming, naïve, romantic. Soprano.

  • LITZI , FRITZI - the other two Zell sisters. Also attractive, but somewhat more sophisticated and forthright. Litzi; Soprano. Fritzi; mezzo-soprano

  • TALIANI - stylish and purposefully alluring; a man-dominator intolerant of female competition. Soprano.

  • MRS. WEBER - a typical Viennese "haus-frau". Soprano.

  • MRS. KRAUSS - a somewhat tetchy lodging-house charwoman-caretaker. Contralto.

  • MRS. ZELL - grey-haired and homely; kind-hearted and inclined to be emotional. Contralto.

  • SCHUBERT - the composer in his twenties—mild-mannered, warm-hearted, shy, almost "innocent". High Baritone.

  • SCHOBER - a well-to-do aristocratic "play-boy"-type very attractive to women, and a dilettante-poet. High Baritone.

  • VOGL - a prosperous professional singer, rather theatrical in manner, but good-hearted and a loyal friend. Baritone.

  • BINDER - a young postman; personable, good-natured and respectable. Baritone.

  • ZELL - a middle-aged, "comfortable", pipe-smoking, simple soul, the typical Viennese family-man. Baritone

  • BRUN - a saddler; and, like his friend Binder, a pleasant and worthy young man. Bass-baritone.

  • SCHWIND - a talented young painter, inclined to be rather self-consciously "bohemian". Bass-baritone.

  • KUPPEL - very genial and likeable, but comparatively conventional in appearance and manner. Bass-baritone.

The Orchestra

In this new version of "Lilac Time", the orchestration has been carefully arranged to meet the requirements of modest or large orchestras.

The minimum combination for an effective performance is: Flute; ist B flat Clarinet; 2nd B flat Clarinet; ist and 2nd Trumpets; ist Trombone; Percussion and Strings. Thereafter, instruments should be added in the following order: Oboe; ist Horn; Bassoon; 2nd Trombone; 2nd Horn and lastly, Harp.

The work is liberally cued. In the absence of the Oboe, the ist Trumpet should play these cues MUTED. Oboe cues are doubled in Flute and Clarinet parts where practicable; Horn cues appear in Trumpet and Trombone parts; Bassoon cues are covered by 2nd Clarinet and Trombone. It is emphasized that a complete string section should be used, (ist and 2nd Violins, Viola, Cello and Bass), but Clarinet parts contain many essential cues to be played in absence of a Viola. The string parts are bowed where necessary, and the ist Violin has all important melody cues throughout. No special conductor's score is available, since this vocal score carries all instrumentation marks for the musical director's assistance.

Musical Contents



  1. Opening Chorus : (Mrs. Weber, Mrs. Krauss, Binder, Brun and Chorus) - "Heiligen Strasse has charm as you see"
  2. Trio : Litzi, Fritzi and Mitzi (Mitzi, Litzi and Fritzi) - "Litzi and Fritzi and Mitzi Zell, brought up well"
  3. Quartet: Jolly Good Fellows (Schober, Vogl, Schwind, Kuppel and Chorus) - "How touching, how charming"
  4. Quintet: Hark, Hark! the Lark (Schubert, Schober, Vogl, Schwind and Kuppel) - "Hark, hark the lark at Heaven's gate sings"
  5. Quintet: Underneath a Lilac-Tree (Schubert, Schober, Vogl, Schwind and Kuppel) - "Underneath a lilac tree, fragrance in the air"
  6. Duet: A Song to Remember (Mitzi and Schubert) - "It's so thrilling you are willing"
  7. Finale Act 1 (Ensemble and Chorus) - "Prosit! Prosit! Prosit!"


  1. Opening Act 2 - Serenade (Mitzi, Schober and Chorus) "Love's serenade, so soft and so tender"
  2. Song: Melody (Schubert and Chorus) - "Birds trilling when the morn is waking"
  3. Sextet: The Right Thing to Do (Mitzi, Litzi, Fritzi, Schubert, Binder and Brun) "There's nothing sweeter so it's said"
  4. Duet: Darling, You Know ME! (Taliani and Schober) - "When a promise I am given"
  5. Duet: Lilac Time (Mitzi and Schubert) - "Lilac time, lilac time, song sweet May"
  6. Song: Wedding Day (Ensemble and Chorus) - "Now to our bridal pairs"
  7. Duet: I'll Still Have You (Zell and Mrs. Zell) "Children come, children go"
  8. Finale Act 2 (Mitzi, Schubert and Schober) - "I long to carve your name on ev'ry tree"


  1. Opening Act 3 (Chorus and Ballet) - "An early starter will find on days like this"
  2. Song: The Sweetest Music (Schober) - "Music, the sweetest music must be the words"
  3. Duet: Reprise, Lilac Time (Mitzi and Schubert)
  4. Finale Act 3 (Full Company) - "The poet tells us in springtime"
  5. Curtain calls - "Even the best of good friends have at last to part"
  6. Play-out


LILAC TIME is not available on record in a modern version although there is a Pearl CD of the 1922 London production available Pearl GEMM-CD9115 which also includes items from RIO RITA and A SOUTHERN MAID.

There was a World Record Club recording from the '60s with highlights from the show but that has long since been deleted.

A complete recording by Ohio Light Opera 2002 Festival, with a new translation by Richard Traubner, is on Albany Records No. TROY 585/586