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Mond, Der (‘The Moon’)locked

  • Erik Levi

Extract

Kleines Welttheater in one act by carl Orff after the fairy-tale by Jacob Ludwig and Wilhelm Carl Grimm ; Munich, Staatsoper, 5 February 1939.

The stage is divided into three sections: the uppermost part represents heaven, the lowest part the underworld and in between there is the earth. The earth is divided into two countries, each containing an oak tree and a public house. Between the halves is a pulpit for the Narrator (high tenor). He recounts a tale about a country that was once in complete darkness. Four Rascals (tenor, two baritones and bass) from this dark country appear and move to the neighbouring country where the moon hangs above an oak tree. This moon has been bought by the landlord Schultheiss (spoken role) for three thalers and its power is maintained by the use of additional oil. The Rascals decide to steal the moon and, to the astonishment of the previous owner, take it back to their own country. Time passes and the Rascals become old men. Realizing that their lifespan is at an end, they each request that a part of the moon should go with them to their graves. The request is granted and the moon is accordingly cut up into four quarters. When the last of the men has died, the country is once again plunged into darkness....

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