Irrlicht, Das [Das Irrlicht, oder Endlich fand er sie (‘The Will-o’-the-Wisp, or He Found her at Last’)]
- Thomas Bauman
Singspiel in three acts by Ignaz Umlauf to a text by Gottlieb Stephanie after Christoph Friedrich Bretzner’s libretto Der Irrwisch, oder Endlich fand er sie (1779); Vienna, Burgtheater, 17 January 1782.
Alwin (tenor), Prince of the Green Island, has been placed under a fairy’s curse for the liberties he has taken with the ladies at his court. The curse requires him to wander through the swamps each night as a will-o’-the-wisp, presenting himself as a humble shepherd to the maidens he meets until he finds a pure innocent who will love him for himself alone. He finds her in Blanka (soprano), adopted daughter of the foolish fisherman Berthold (bass) and his scheming wife Rosa (soprano). Rosa attempts to gain the prince’s hand by substituting herself for Blanka, but fails a ceremonial test of virtue. Blanka passes the test by firmly rejecting the prince until he dons his shepherd’s disguise....