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Music with Ease > 19th Century German Opera (except Wagner) > The Cricket on the Heath - Goldmark


The Cricket on the Heath
(German title: Das Heimchen am Herd)
An Opera by Karl Goldmark


Opera in three acts, by Carl Goldmark, text M. Willner, after the story by Charles Dickens. Produced, Berlin, 1896; in the United States, 1910.

CHARACTERS

JOHN………………………………….. Baritone
DOT, his wife…………………………. Soprano
MAY………………………………….. Soprano
EDWARD PLUMMER………………. Tenor
TACKLETON………………………… Basso
THE CRICKET……………………….. Soprano

Time: Early Part of 19th Century.
Place: An English Village.

Act I. Room in John’s house. Invisible chorus of elves. To the Cricket, the guiding spirit of the house, Dot confides her secret. She hopes soon to have a child. May, a pretty young girl, a toymaker, is to be married the next day to Tackleton, her employer. She bemoans her fate. She still loves Edward Plummer, who disappeared several years before. After May’s departure John appears with Edward, disguised as a sailor, and is not recognized either by John or the villagers.





Act II. A garden. May and Tackleton are supping together. John makes Tackleton jealous of the stranger, Edward, who, seeing that May is only marrying Tackleton because his wealth will save her old foster-father from want, reveals his identity to Dot. Tackleton now makes John jealous of Edward, but John is lulled to sleep by the Cricket, and dreams of himself as a happy father.

Act III. May resolves to be true to Edward. Recognizing him (after his song, "Hulla, list to the Seas"), they drive off in Tackleton’s carriage. John is told of Dot’s secret. Reconciliation, with the Cricket chirping merrily. There is much pretty music (for instance, the quintet on the hearth in the second act, and Edward’s song), which, however, has not sufficed to keep the piece in the repertoire in the United States.





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