Operetta in drei Akten nach F. Zell und R. Genee von Richard Bars. Musikalische Bearbeitung: Paul Burkhard

Composer: Milloecker, Carl 1842 - 1899

Version: Bars / Burkhard

Written in 1884, Gasparone is the operetta with which he followed his hugely successful Der Bettelstudent. SYNOPSIS: Near Syracuse, Sicily, 1820. Smugglers are concealing sugar and coffee in the cellar of a seaside inn. The landlord of the inn, Benozzo, is the nephew of head smuggler Massaccio, and he has circulated the rumour that the notorious bandit, Gasparone, is again active in Sicily in order to set the customs officers and the mayor of Syracuse, Nasoni, off on a false trail. Meanwhile, thr young nobleman Count Erminio happens to have acquired an admiration for a widowed countess, Carlotta, and arranges that Massaccio and Benozzo will waylay the coach carrying the Countess Carlotta, so that he can then appear on the scene as Carlotta’s saviour. When Count Erminio appears following his gallant ‘rescue’ of Carlotta, Nasoni notices a growing attraction between the pair. Since he is himself hoping to marry his son Sindulfo to the rich Countess, he insinuates that Erminio is the bandit Gasparone. Carlotta is persuaded to give Nasoni her word that she will marry his son, in return for assistance with legal matters. Following the announcement, news arrives that the prospective bridegroom Sindulfo, has been kidnapped, and that it is the work of Gasparone, who has left a ransom note.                                                                  At the castle of Sante Croce, despite her growing attraction to Erminio, Carlotta persists in honouring her word that she will many Sindulfo.. She is alone in the ante-room when a violent thunderstorm breaks and Erminio climbs into the room dressed as a robber and takes the millions of her inheritance. Although Carlotta recognises Erminio, her feelings for him persuade her to say that it was the dreaded Gasparone who robbed her. Suddenly, Sindulfo appears with a tale of having been kept blindfold in a cellar full of sugar and coffee but - learning that the Countess’s millions have been stolen - Nasoni is now not anxious to confirm the engagement. Martial law is put in place across Syracuse. A judicial hearing takes place, much to the concern of Benozzo and Massaccio who, although they know that they are the kidnapping arm of the fictional Gasparone, have no idea who actually stole the Countess’s millions. Later, Erminio gives Nasoni a packet which he says contains a ‘wedding present’, but Nasoni wants to hear no more about the wedding now that Carlotta has no fortune. Carlotta falls into Erminio’s arms. He hands the packet to Carlotta, and she discovers that it contains the millions that were stolen. Nasoni now protests, to little avail, that he would like the marriage to take place after all, and universal rejoicing breaks out that the affair of Gasparone is finally at an end.

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