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Kurt Weill

Der Silbersee, ein Wintermärchen

Translated titleThe Silver Lake, A Winter’s Tale
Text AuthorGeorg Kaiser
Instrumentation2 (2 picc).1.2.1;; piano, harp, timp; strings

Gräbst du? Wir tragen den Toten zu Grabe Der Bäkker backt ums Morgenrot (Severin und vier Burschen) Wir sind zwei Mädchen (Song der beiden Verkäuferinnen) Was zahlen Sie für einen Rat? (Krone des Gewinns or Tango des Lotterie-Agents) Was soll ich essen in der Morgenfrühe? Ich bin eine arme Verwandte (Fennimores Lied) Rom hiess eine Stadt (Ballade von Cäsars Tod) Erst trifft dich die Kugel (Rache-Aria) Auf jener Strasse Wie Odysseus an den Mast des Schiffes Es wächst uns in den Mund der Wein (Schlaraffenland-Song) Alles was ist, ist beginnen



Authorized translations

English: Jonathan Eaton


It is winter and hunger has struck the land around the Silver Lake. Severin and his compatriots break into a grocery store to steal food; as they escape Olim the policeman shoots Severin and takes him to the prison hospital. Olim then has an attack of conscience and decides to change the records so that Severin is set free. Around this time, Olim happens to win the lottery, and he buys a castle with the proceeds. He takes Severin there with him to nurse him back to health. Olim hires Frau von Luber and Baron Laur to maintain the castle, and they immediately start to conspire to take it from him. Then von Luber's niece Fennimore finds out that Olim is the one who shot Severin. In a rage, Severin chases Olim to an attic room. As Olim hides, von Luber brings him a document to sign, which in reality will cede the castle to her and Laur. Her revenge cannot be completed, though, because Fennimore manages to heal the breach between Olim and Severin. Von Luber throws her out, then reveals her trick to Olim, so that Olim and Severin too must leave the castle on a stormy winter night. In despair, they walk toward the Silver Lake in order to drown themselves, but when they reach it, winter turns to spring while the lake remains a sheet of ice, which they walk across to new hope.


Singing roles: Olim (baritone), Severin (tenor), Frau von Luber (mezzo-soprano), Fennimore (soprano), Baron Laur (tenor), Lottery Agent (tenor), Four Comrades of Severin (two baritones, two basses), Two Shopgirls (sopranos), chorus, SATB. Speaking roles: a fat policeman, an old doctor, a young doctor, a nurse, a servant, people.

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