Friedrich von Flotow (1812–1883) Martha
Romantic Comic Opera in 4 Acts Text: Wilhelm Friedrich
solos: SSSA(Mez)ATTTBBBBB – choir: SSAATTBB – 2(picc).2.2.2. – 188.8.131.52 timp.perc(2) – hp – str / stage music: 2hn.trp.tbne.perc.
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Duration: full evening
Text by Wilhelm Friedrich
Place and time: partly on Ladys castle, partly at Richmond and its environment, in Queen Annas time
Characters: Lady Harriet Durham (soprano) - Nancy (alto /mezzo-soprano) - Lord Tristan Mickleford (bass) - Lyonel (tenor) - Plumkett (bass) -
The judge at Richmond (bass) - Three maids (soprano, alto) -
1. Tenant (bass) - 2. Tenant (tenor) - 1. Servant (bass) - 2. Servant (bass) - 3. Servant (tenor)
Lady Harriet feels bored at the Royal Court. To end this tediousness, she joins with her maid Nancy and together they go to the Richmond fair. Taking on false names, they disguise as maids and as “Martha” and “Julia” they are hired by Plumkett and Lyonel. While both men fall in love with the false maids, Martha and Julia make life difficult for them. Not only do they refuse to work, Martha also rejects Lyonel’s courtship as he does not seem to be within her social class; she escapes together with her ally. When, however, it is revealed that Lyonel is the son of an unjustly banished Earl, Harriet wants to win him back; by staging a replica of the fair where they first met, she finally succeeds.