rumelia libretto

Author: ketty-nez

Post on 06-Apr-2018




0 download

Embed Size (px)


  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Ketty Nez The Fiddler and the Old Woman of Rumelia


    Vixen (soprano) village girl in her late teens, scenes II-VI more plainly dressed in scene II (same character?)Cook /Vixen femme fatale with a temper, in III-VI - plays triangle as if dinner bell

    Roma (alto) a teller of fortunes, a woman of a certain age, sarcastic, wistful, smokes a long pipe Man B/Youth/Guslar (tenor) unseen offstage singer (scene I) as Shepherd/Youth (scenes II, III, IV), as drinking compatriot of Hajduk (scene V) as old Guslar (the singer of epic tales), in his 80s (scene VI)Hajduk (baritone) (pronounced hiduke) fiddling outlaw in mid-40s, mustached, dashing, roguish, moody

    Bear (mute) scene III, end of scene IV, end of scene VScene I: Sunday: mountain music Evening: In the mountains echoing with shepherds cries, Roma is traveling, singing to herself sadly that no

    one will take a gypsy lass. To amuse herself, she throws tarot cards, choosing the Moon, indicating

    magical influences and unusual people, then lays down to rest. Fiddling Hajduk enters, also on his

    wanders. Having met before, they swap jokes about the quixotic nature of love. At Hajduks request,

    Roma throws him a tarot card, the Three of Swords, suggesting several tragic loves, but with no specific

    time - the past, present, or future?

    Scene II: Monday: the crickets wedding Morning: In fields surrounding the village, Youth and Vixen look for their lost sheep. They sit down to rest,

    singing a rain-begging song. Roma and Hajduk enter, and entertain the two youngsters with various comic

    animal songs, including Soldier Mouse, Very Big Flea, and Crickets Wedding. A huge thunderstormdrowns out the revelry.

    Scene III: Tuesday: village dances and the cook of love Day: In the village square, Youth enters with his newly found Bear, which he is teaching to dance. Vixen

    makes her dramatic (re)entrance: now asfemme fatale, but a bad cook with a very hot temper, she charms

    all with her magical singing. She, however, complains that a good man is impossible to find. At Vixens

    request, Roma throws a tarot card for her, the Magician, prompting the Vixen to explain the folk magic she

    uses to charm suitors. Roma sings a sad song of old spinsters, yesterdays apples. A clarinetist wanders

    in, stops to explain he is on his way to perform at the village festival the next evening, and invites all to


    Scene IV: Wednesday: flirting at the farmhouse Evening: At the village festival, there is much ritual teasing and flirting. Vixen is beginning to have second

    thoughts about Hajduks roguish behavior. At the Vixens request, Roma tells her fortune again, choosing

    the Queen of Wands. Vixen sings a song about different types of eligible bachelors.

    Scene V: Thursday: sitting in a tavern, the Devil decides to get married

    Night: In a tavern where Vixen works as harried cook, Hajduk and the Youth joke about joining the army

    and serving the Devil. They enact a ballad about the Devils disastrous courtship tactics.

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    And an answer give my lover,

    Let him (her) love, let him (her) deceive,

    Let him (her) no more think of me; For I too love and deceive, And no longer think of him (her).

    Hajduk: What a huge full moon tonight! (Takes off hat.) If you sleep bare-headed in moonlight, you will

    lose your hair! Hajduk puts his hat back on snugly.Roma: Thats a new one . . and if you die bald, you will become a fish! Both burst out laughing. Hajduk: Ah, how Ive missed you and your stories! . . . Throw me a tarot, Romelian Roma.

    Roma throws Three of Swords (piercing heart).

    Roma: My my . . three of Swords piercing the bleeding heart . . . . unlucky in love . . . at least three

    times . . .

    Hajduk (bursts out laughing): If not more buxom, frustrated farm wives . . . Ha, a tent without a woman is

    like a violin with no strings!Hajduk plays fiddle and foot-taps. Roma listens then starts to gently dance.

    Roma(reading cards):Hmmm . . shows the first marriage a bowl of honey, the second a glass of wine,

    and the third a cup of poison . . . imagine that!

    Hajduk: Ay, those are some stories to tell! How much time do you have?

    Roma and Hajduk sing: To drink wine Sunday,Not to work Monday,

    Ah, to go to bed Tuesday,

    To get up on Wednesday.

    To get wed Thursday, To then weep Friday. Oh, to ask Saturday:

    What then shall I do now?

    Roma (hearing bells): Listen to the church bells . . . its getting late.

    Roma and Hajduk sing: Mist is heavy, coppers light,Thoughts may well be your undoing;

    One today and one tomorrow,

    More and more of them each day.

    Hajduk: Yes its getting late (starts to fiddle). Lets go, more tomorrow. Both walk offstage, Hajduk fiddling.

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    SCENE II: Monday: the crickets wedding

    Vixen/Girl and Youth wander in looking for lost sheep.

    Youth stops playing flute, takes off hat to fan himself.

    Youth: Gosh darn, so hot and dry! No rain for weeks.

    Vixen/Girl: Eh, the sheep are thirsty, theyve wandered looking for water and you were the one who dared

    us to look for the Bear cave . . . (arms on hips, reprimanding Youth) . . . now weve lost them!

    Youth (shrugging shoulder): Geepers, no Bear, no sheep, no rain . . . what lousy Monday morning . . .

    He resumes playing his flute.

    Vixen/Girl and Youth sing: Come, little rain, come! Come out and water usToss the full buckets

    over all the people.

    When you come with shovel

    Let it flow like water.

    When you come with the plough,

    Let it run like butter.

    When you come with the sieve,

    Let it be a barnful.

    Give me the keys, old woman,

    So that I may open the doors,

    And let the rain come down. Come, little rain, come! Come out and water usRoma and Hajduk walk on, speaking to each other.

    Hajduk: To drink wine Sunday Roma: Not to work Monday Hajduk (yawning over-dramatically): Ah, to go to bed Tuesday Roma (nudging Hajduk with elbows): To get up on Wednesday Youth and Vixen/Girl laugh and join in.Vixen/Girl: To loose sheep Thursday Youth: To find a Bear Friday! Hajduk shows interest in Vixen, a budding beauty.all: Oh, To ask on Saturday: What then shall we do now? Vixen/Girl, Youth, and Hajduk gather around Roma.Roma sings: The grey little mouse sits still in the cupboard,

    Dips its long tail in the honey;

    And deceives the servant, this squeaky mouse,

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    This little mouse is such a chatter-box.

    A scimitar is attached to his waist,

    bayonet in his hand;

    Last night it captured and sacked a caravan. Oh my!

    The mouse comes with a flock,

    He comes With a throng of five hundred brave riders;

    They snatch your bread and run away,

    Now a gendarme is the little mouse.

    all sing: A flea with a big nose Frequently came to us

    And he kept coming here

    For breakfast and for dinner His big eyes were shinyand so dreadful big and fatWhen he opened them up wide

    the house began to glisten.

    His long nails were skinnyand as sharp as needles

    See how he did scrape and scratch

    the whole side off the cottage

    His stomach was so bigall of the waters

    of the big blue Danube got

    stuck in his bellyThroughout this song, all fight a fly,

    Hajduk finally slams it (with a xylophone glissando).

    Hajduk (triumphantly): Got it!! If you fight a fly, fight as if you were fighting a bear!

    all sing: The cricket, a poor lad, He is about to marry,He is cuddling the fly, He wants to propose to her.

    The hamster scurries up, He wants to be the best man. A souslik sprang beside him,

    He wants to be a best man as well.

    The wolf is made the butcher, he prepares a good steer

    And besides

    He throttles two young piglets

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    The vixen is made the cook, She is preparing the dish of chitterlings.

    The harehound is washing the sausage skinWhich the dog fills.

    The monkey draws into the danceThe hideous turkey. And the monkey is dancing eagerly,Letting out loud farts.

    Huge thundercrack: all run for cover, then

    storm clears, and bird callsstart up.Youth (laughing, miming): A frog saw them shoe an ox and held out his foot too!

    Vixen/Girl: The black hen lays white eggs, too


    Even the hen looks toward heaven when she drinks.

    Roma: If you believe everything you hear, youd be going to the sea for rabbits and to the woods for fish.

    Hajduk: There you go talking about fish again. He takes off his hat, scratches head with a worried look, feeling for a bald spot.Hajduk (to Youth): Hey, can you tell me . . am I really going bald? Youth looks, valiantly nods.

    Hajduk grins, claps him on the shoulder. Youth looks proud in his new friendship.Roma and Vixen giggle to themselves.

    Vixen/Girl (self-righteously): Well, why dont you go look for the sheep . . here, let me show you our

    village . . . Vixen takes Roma and Hajduk by the hand,leaving Youth alone, who takes his flute and plays.

    SCENE III: Tuesday: village dances and the cook of love

    Roma, Hajduk walk on stage humming tune; afterwards, they sit down at table on side.

    Roma lights her long pipe, starts taking out her cards to shuffle.

    Bear runs across stage chasing Youth holding hat, screaming.

    Hajduk runs after them offstage, big shouts and roars.

    Hajduk and Youth come back with Bear on a leash, tamed for the moment.

    Youth starts to sing as Hajduk (air)plays violin: Down the road came the kemenche player, Georgi Georgi the kemenche player, together with his dancing Bear Your old grandma is from the mountains your old grandad is from sea A black dog took a bite out of him

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    His dark blood did flowHajduk: "A festival without a Bear is a waste of time!"

    Vixen saunters in, dressed like a cook with an apron,

    waving a wooden spoon and hitting a triangle (as if a

    dinner bell).

    Vixen (trillingly): Dinners almost ready . . .

    Youth (explaining to Hajduk and Roma): Heres our cook, but her food always tastes really funny.

    Vixen frowns at Youths sour remark, then sings: Our black hen is picking sour cherry pitsLet black hell devour my dear lover Youth

    Im not the ugliest of ladies Im not at the top or bottom, ay!Vixen (sighs): So difficult to find a man but so easy to recognize him.

    She looks over Youth and Hajduk, both completely charmed.

    Vixen, Hajduk, and Youth sing: Just because a rogue has up and left you (me) here! Vixen flirtingly offers Hajduk an apple.Bear wanders off, unnoticed by anyone.

    Hajduk and Youth (both with great interest in Vixen): Gypsy woman, tell her fortune in cards!

    Vixen: Gypsy woman, tell my fortune in cards!

    Roma: Here you are, the magician!

    Hajduk and Youth (in unison with Roma): The magician!

    Vixen: Hm . . . let me tell you a magic secret my grandmother used . . cut an apple in half, put in one of

    your hairs, give it to the one you want to make fall in love with you, and . . voila, let the show begin!

    Vixen motions to Hajduk, who hasnt heard and is

    chatting and smoking with the Youth.

    Roma nods theatrically in agreement with Vixen.

    Hajduk acts as if suddenly struck by an idea, turns

    and stares at Vixen as if seeing her for the first time.

    Vixen: Dinners almost ready . . .

    Hajduk and Vixen sing: Once when I was roaming the forest I ate a toadstool for my dinner It did make me so crazy I fell in love with its cook. Yes I fell in love, and we paired up,

    What a good life we did have So then I have often told her

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Surely that it was no toadstool. Hajduk and Vixen sing: Green leaf of the hazel bush,

    Cream cheese is my sweethearts mouth,

    When I kiss her, I grow fat. Hajduk kisses Vixen.

    Youth (dejectedly): Bah, women are like apples . . . they get soft and pudgy with age!

    Youth and Hajduk sing: Such the fate of maidens is,It is like the fate of apples:

    While they are still young and tiny,

    On the bough they nicely do sway

    When they grow and become older,

    No one wants them any more. Hajduk: Ay, A crow will never be a dove.

    Roma frowns, raising hands in despair. Vixen comforts her.all sing: Mothers busy with making noodles,

    For here come all my suitors at the door BEAR walks in quietly, unnoticed except by Roma, who is excited and points to him.Call them, Mother, in to the house,

    Bring them in behind the big table; Give them all something to drink, Bottoms up! In my mouth they mightnt look, Why not?

    For Ive no longer yellow teeth nor molars grey, Bitterness to my old poor long days! BEAR roars, drawing attention to itself. Youth rushes to get up, knocking over chair, scaring BEAR, and chasing him off stage. Clarinetist enters playing, miming Bears heavy walk.

    Hajduk and Roma clap, Vixen plays her triangle.all sing: To drink wine Sunday, not to work Monday, Ah, to go to bed Tuesday, to go to bed Tuesday.Clarinetist stops: Oh my sore feet, Ive been walking for two days! My band has to play at the big

    gathering tomorrow night at one of the village farmhouses . . are you going to be there?"

    Roma (wistfully): "Ah, the young people gather to chat, tease, and flirt with each other."

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Vixen (worriedly): "Yes, and I've been trying to find someone to marry for ages . . . . my cooking scares

    them off!"

    Hajduk (to himself): "A chance to meet more village beauties!"

    Vixen: "Oh I forgot, dinner's burning!" (smoke comes from off stage)

    SCENE IV: Wednesday: flirting at the farmhouse

    All enter on stage, stroking FROG instruments intermittently and singing:This is how a yellow frog sits

    on the rock within the brooklet

    Oh, poor me, the waters freezing!

    but the water is not so cold.

    A green frog the land divided all the crones went to the young lads girls were matched with grey old men.

    Hajduk (to Roma): A maiden boasts that she is young,Her chin shakes from old age.

    all sing: Our Poor hajduk what did he get? An old woman! He then wept and much complained, His wife then said:

    Roma (annoyed, to Hajduk); Get married, dear, and may it come to be,

    That you change wives nine times in a year!

    all sing: Easy, hajduk, weep no more! On Wednesday, next Well go to market. You ride a cockerel, Ill ride a cat.

    Youth (to Vixen): Oh, maiden, your teeth are white,Like those of my dead mare.

    all sing: Yes, well go up to the market There well buy some fishing hooks

    And straighten out the your wrinkled face

    Vixen (to Youth): My beloved, my freight wagon,When he beings to sing, its like a steer bellowing.

    all sing: We then will buy bright white make-up, Skimmed milk cheese Also blushing powder Reddish bricks well buy

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Youth: See the maidens, see the cowards, /

    Hajduk: Lets go find some widows. Vixen: Old bachelors are crammed into a garage, /

    Roma: Where old trucks are stored.

    Hajduk and Youth sing: When I was a little laddie, I was dying for green walnuts.

    Now that I have so big grown up,

    I am dying for fair lassies. Roma: Seems that good rooster can never have too many hens!

    all sing: Gypsy woman, tell my fortune in the cards. Tell to me of all my hearts true desires. My lass, be she fair or ugly will keep me, Even if hes a good for nothing bumpkin, ay! Vixen hits TRIANGLE on offbeats (mock hitting Hajduk). Roma throws Queen of Wands for Vixen.

    Vixen exclaims: Queen of Wands!

    Hajduk (raising his hand to shield his face from Vixens beating): Ah, another Queen of Rumelia . .

    Youth (sarcastically): Ha, shell certainly have plenty of money for white cheese makeup . .

    Vixen retorts (in between hitting Hajduk): and slaves and male tigers . . .

    Vixen sings: My dear mother little mother asked to whom to betroth me. my dear daughter, lovely daughter, whom do you want to marry?Roma, Hajduk, Youth sing: To betroth you to a grocer? Vixen sings: but I want no grocer! Grocers like a bird, He goes from sack to sack, dear mother. Roma, Hajduk, Youth sing: To betroth you to a teacher? Vixen sings: but I want no teacher! Teachers like a dog he wanders Town to town, dear mother. Roma, Hajduk, Youth sing: To betroth you to a builder? Vixen sings: I want no builder!

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Builders like a rooster From a rafter to a rafter. My dear mother little mother asked to whom to betroth me. my dear daughter, lovely daughter, whom do you want to marry?Roma, Hajduk, Youth sing: To betroth you to a fisherman? Vixen sings: I want no fisherman! He is like a fish Hes over and then under water. Roma, Hajduk, Youth sing: To betroth you to a piper?Vixen sings: Yes I want a piper! all sing: He will play and I shall dance, And thus well live together. Youth shouts: One must learn to pipe in hell!

    all sing: He who wants to be a piper He must go down to hot hell; There youll find those huge mean black dogs Which make pretty big loud bagpipes. Oh my speckled goose is now lost. A roving man my husband became. I dont worry for my husband, But I do regret my lost goose.

    Bear runs entirely across stage into wings, chasing Youth (holding his hat). Youth, chasing Bear,run entirely back across stage the other direction.Hajduk shouts to Youth: Call the Bear uncle till you are safe across the bridge!

    Hajduk runs after, shooting his gun into the air.

    Roma and Vixen look at each other, laugh and shrug

    their shoulders, then dance off stage.

    SCENE V: Thursday: sitting in a tavern, the Devil decides to get marriedHajduk and Youth in a tavern, sitting at a table. Vixen serves them.

    Hajduk and Youth sing: At least, dear Mother, I was long enough a bachelor To make love, Mother, to many a pretty maiden. Hajduk grabs a kiss from VixenTo drink wine Sunday,

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Not to work Monday,

    Youth: He who is not drunk on a Sunday . .

    Hajduk: . . . is not worth a greeting on Monday!

    Hajduk and Youth sing: Ah, to go to bed Tuesday,To get up Wednesday,Ah, to get married Thursday Getting married Thursday.

    Hajduk: Getting married Thursday . . hmmm.

    Both look at Vixen serving them, nod at each other.

    She guesses their plans, looks shocked, confused,

    elated, checks herself in the mirror, quick range of


    Hajduk and Youth sing (drunkenly): A soldier with a hundred thalers lives a life thats carefree,

    He drinks and eats in the tavern, without any worries,

    Ah, what a life, you cant imagine better,

    Only those who do not love us, they should join the army! They motion to Vixen.Hajduk sings: I wish girls would also join the army,

    I wish they were in my regiment, too.

    Id would clean her brass spurs til they shone bright,

    Id kiss my darlings red lips. Youth and Hajduk steal kisses from Vixen

    Vixen, at first looking at herself in the mirror again,considers proposition.

    Youth (to Vixen): You know, my sweet, if you look at a mirror in the evening, you will soon see a vision

    of the devil.

    Vixen, entranced by herself in the mirror, then

    recoils, turns to stare at Hajduk as ifhes the Devil.

    Hajduk: Me? Well then . . . If Im to join the army and go to hell, Id prefer to go on a young filly rather

    than an old mare.

    Hajduk puts on a mummers devil mask and snatches

    Vixen, starts to twirl her in dance.

    Hajduk (grabbing Youth to join the dance): Hey, youre coming along, too . . . theres a special place for


    Youth: Its good to have friends, even in hell!

    All laugh and dance.

    Hajduk sings: Let me in, my Ilona,

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    My Ilona, luscious rose!

    Vixen sings: I wont let you, oh no,For you are not my sweetheart!

    Youth: Finally, she let him in.

    Hajduk sings: Cook a dish for me to eat My Ilona, luscious rose!

    Vixen sings: I will not cook, oh no, For you are not my sweetheart!

    Youth: Finally, she prepared him a dish . . . a toadstool! Hajduk (nostalgically): Once I ate a toadstool for dinner, / it made me so crazy.

    Youth (explaining to Vixen) : Once he ate a toadstool for dinner . . (looking at Hajduk) and it probablygave him indigestion. Hajduk mimes indigestion, holds belly. Vixen looks surprised then elated.Hajduk sings: Take a seat besides me

    My Ilona, luscious rose!

    Vixen sings: I wont sit close, oh no,For you are not my sweetheart!

    Youth: Finally she sat besides him.

    Hajduk sings: Kiss me, fair Ilona,My Ilona, luscious rose!

    Vixen sings: I wont kiss you, oh no,For you are not my sweetheart!

    Youth: Finally kissing him, looking at the feet of her sweetheart, she saw his cloven hooves.

    Vixen sings: Oh, cocks, crow, for mercyAngels, angels blow your horns!

    suddenly I feel faint

    I am perhaps dying! Youth: The devil said . . .

    Hajduk: You did well to call the angels, otherwise I would have torn you apart at once! (dramatically

    tears a sheet of paper)

    All others also tear their own sheets of paper. Bear runs across

    background followed by whistling Roma waving a stick.

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Youth, Hajduk, and Vixen sing, while Vixen beats her triangle:

    Underneath my top boots heel

    Live a devil and his wife

    And they teach me to do wrong;

    And under my top boots heel

    Lives a devil with his wife

    And they teach me how to yell.

    Foreground: Bear chases all off stage,

    followed by whistling Roma waving a stick.

    SCENE VI: Friday: three wives (at least)

    Guslar and Roma on stage, sitting, smoking, chatting. Vixen and Hajduk walk in as if after an evening

    together, but Vixen somewhat unwillingly. Mock fighting between them ensues.

    Roma sings: Mist is heavy, coppers light,Thoughts may well be your undoing;

    One today and one tomorrow,More and more of them each day.

    Guslar motions to Hajduk and Vixen to come sit

    beside him and Roma, starts to play his gusle (violin).

    Guslar sings: Hey! What misfortune outlaw made you leave your home, To roam the mountains and risk your one life?

    Guslar (to Hajudk): What misfortune, son . . what devilish business, made you leave your home and roam

    the green mountains. risking your head as a hajduk, an outlaw?

    Hajduk (sighing heavily): Old Singer of Tales, these are dead stories, not for polite company! Too long

    and too long ago . . .

    As if in answer, Roma throws tarot, choosing three

    cards: Lovers, Hanged Man, and Death.

    Roma: Aha . . . I see cards telling me of a man and his three wives . . .

    Vixen (fascinated): Oooh . . .

    Guslar (nods) Ah yes, that first marriage was a bowl of honey, the second a glass of wine, and the third a

    cup of poison. I know from long experience.

    Hajduk (roaring with laughter) Ha ha . . . everyone knows where his own shoe pinches!

    Vixen: You grandpa?!

    Hajduk: Well, to be absolutely honest - upon my word as heroic hajduk, an outlaw (holds his heart) - Ive

    never been married . . . at least to my own wife.

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Vixen (to Roma, in frustration): Now he tells me! Roma, waving at Hajduk in despair, shrugs shoulders knowingly.Hajduk: So what are the stories of these wives, Singer of Tales? Tell us! Guslar starts to play, shakes head as if trying to remember.Roma (prompting Guslar): Rhe first card . . . the Lovers . . . Guslar nods as if starting to recall a lost memory.Vixen (sarcastically): Aah . . . our Hajduk as a younger man . . . in love with love! Vixen mock kisses Hajduk, who suddenly looks tired and frail.Roma . . . . who resorts to thievery, then marries again . . . Vixen mimes surprise.Hajduk (wryly, peering over Romas shoulder): card of the Hanged Man, the second marriage, indeed! Vixen mimes shock.Roma: . . . . and the third card shows the dance of Death! Hajduk grabs Vixen and twirls her around in a forced waltz. Vixen falls to ground, others help her up. Hajduk goes to moodily sulk in a corner.Guslar: "Hey, hey, enough horseplay! (loudly scratches strings of his gusle in frustration)

    Roma: "Yes, sorry grandpa, please go ahead." Roma comforts Vixen, helps her to sit down, wags a finger and scowls at Hajduk who acts sheepishly.Guslar: Thats better . . ok, I remember now . . let me sing about the first wife, fair Fatima."

    Guslar speaks (then Vixen, Roma, and Guslar sing the lines):

    There never bloomed a flower more beautiful than Fatima sister of Ljubovic. She is slender, her cheeks rosy, her eyes they shine like two bright precious diamonds her eyelashes like the wings of swallows,Fatima! her lips invite like a bowl of honey, And her white teeth shine like rows of pearls. Her slender arms like the wings of swans,and her white breasts are like two pale pigeons.

    Vixen: Hard act to follow . . and what happens to fair Fatima, this first wife?

    Guslar: Listen closely, my dear . . because you may become a wife one day!

    Guslar sings: Ej! Many suitors Aj! come woo the maiden, and among them are two who come the most:

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Guslar speaks: One of them is the old chieftain, Mustaf, and the other Zuko a brave warrior. Guslar sings: Old chieftain, he bids a thousand ducats, Zuko offers but a dozen ducats, for poor Zuko has very little wealth.Guslar speaks: Then Ljubovic speaks to his own sister:Hajduk speaks: Many suitors have come here to woo you,

    And one of them is old chieftain Mustafhe will feed you with honey and sugarThe other one a warrior, brave ZukoHe has only saber and fattened horse.You must choose now, which of them shall wed you.

    Vixen speaks: I would rather marry the young brave lad, Wealth is neither

    silver nor precious gold;Wealth is rather when two love each other.

    Guslar speaks: But he gives her to old chieftain Mustaf.Guslar sings: Ej! Old Mustaf goes, eager to claim his bride, and he invites brave Zuko, to bear his banner. And when they arrive Fatima asks, whispering,Vixen speaks: Tell me, sister who is to be my groom? Roma speaks: My dear sister, beautiful Fatima,

    look around you both to the right and left,and then look there at that decrepit manwhose long white beard is covering his chest. Hajduk mimes old Mustaf.

    Guslar sings: Ej! So she sees him, Aj! then sighs deeply, asks: Vixen speaks: And whos that lad, the brave lad on white horse,

    the one that holds the banner in his hands,his black mustache twisted on both his cheeks? Hajduk mimes twirling his mustache.

    Roma speaks: Sister, that is Zuko the brave warriorHe asked for you, but then he was refused.

    Guslar sings: Ej! When she hears that, Aj! she drops to the ground. Vixen mimes fainting, dropping to the ground. All wedding guests rush quickly to her side. Ej! But not one man, Aj! can wake Fatima.

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Guslar speaks: Zuko arrives offers his hand to herShe then rises mounts the horse with Zuko.and they gallop across the starlit sky. Hajduk raises Roma, they pretend to gallop off.

    Guslar sings: Ej! Mustaf cries loud, Aj!, in a stricken voice:Guslar speaks: Did you see that, you honored wedding guests,

    how that hajduk has stolen my maiden? Now do something; run and bring her to me!

    Guslar sings: Ej! The wedding guests, Aj! shout back in one voice:Roma, Hajduk, and Vixen speak:

    Let the bold hawk carry the tender quail.For such beauty is not meant to be yours.


    Ha! That just goes to show that two things rule the world -- reward and punishment. What willhappen to the second wife? (to herself) . . . and which one am I?

    Hajduk (mock fear): A wife is frightened of her first husband and a husband is frightened of his second


    Guslar: Ah, that the Roma can tell us from her cards . . . the story of the Hanged Man.

    Roma: Yes, but to sing this history Ill need your help too (motioning to Vixen) . . . youll be my alter

    ego, my doppelganger.

    Vixen at first acts surprised, but acquiesces as Roma whispers

    in her ear. In the meantime, Hajduk looks at Guslar

    questioningly, both shrug shoulders in complete confusion.

    Roma sings: Lord, my dear God, help meLet the water flow!

    Let it wash me again dear God, let it wash me off! Vixen sings: Dear mother, little mother, be cursed, and turn to stone,

    for giving me, dear mother, giving me to an outlaw hajduk!

    Roma sings: Let the water wash me, to my dear mothers house, So that I can ask her Whom she married to me. Vixen sings: By day his gates, dear mother, by day his gates are tight closed,

    by night they stand, dear mother, by night they gates they stand wide open;

    Roma sings: To a brave warrior, a wild mountain thief.

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    To a hajduk a thief, oh dear God To the killer of men. Vixen sings: by day he goes, dear mother, by day he goes after the young girls,

    by night he goes, dear mother, by night he goes after the widows.

    Roma sings: Lord, oh dear God, help me How tired Im of living. Every dark dawn, dear God To wash his bloody red clothes.Vixen speaks: Last night he went, dear mother, last night he went on a foray,

    from which he returned, dear mother, from which he returned this morning.

    Roma speaks: Hey, woman, my wife, last night I heard you crying.

    Vixen speaks:

    bringing with him, dear mother, bringing a stranger, a restless coal-black horse.On this coal black horse, dear mother, on this coal black horse was a goatskin

    side sack,

    Roma sings: I didnt cry, I rocked my baby. I burnt oak-wood, The smoke of the oak-wood Brought tears to my eyes. Vixen speaks: in the goatskin sack, dear mother, in the goatskin sack I found

    a bloody wet shirt,

    This wet shirt was wrapped, dear mother, around the clenched handof a young man.

    Vixen sings: in the clenched hand, dear mother, was the plaited long braid of a girl, on a finger, dear mother, on a finger was a golden wedding ring.Vixen speaks: Ay! the horse, dear heavens, belonged to my granddad, my uncle owned the side sack,

    the shirt in the sack, dear heavens, was my fathers, the hand was my brothers

    Roma speaks: Drop on your knees, woman, so I can chop your head off. Drop on your knees, woman, so I can chop your head off. Dont cut off my head, dear God! Let me bring up My two small babies. Vixen speaks: the long plait held tight, dear heavens was my sisters,

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    and the golden wedding ring, dear God, the wedding ring

    was my sister-in-laws.

    Roma speaks: There, in a dark cloud, A raven is bathing. Come to me, black raven, come to me! Roma sings: Take my letter, black raven, Put it on my mothers table! Let her read it weeping, dear God

    Let her read (it) weeping! Hajduk: From bad to worse . . no matter who might be the wife, be she the Queen of Rumelia herself,

    marriage is definitely not for me. . . not once, twice, ever . . . (Vixen nods in agreement.)

    Guslar: My son, you will learn . . love is sometimes difficult but death even more so. Hajduk starts to play his fiddle to console himself.Roma sings: Old grandmother started to weep, my foolish son, my Youth! You have brought me a thoughtless young thing, my son, cried old mother.Roma and Vixen sing: My little baby, nenni,

    I swaddled him, singing nenni,Roma sings: She does not work, and instead will powder her face and wants to make love to your brother. Yes, my son, your own brother, ah!Roma and Vixen sing: I encircled him with bright red ribbon,

    my little baby, nenni, ay!

    Roma sings: Then her son enraged did dash up to their bedroom There she, true love was on her knees, she was praying soft. Roma and Vixen sing: I besought God to give thee to me,

    my lamb, ay! Nenni.

    Hajduk speaks: Yes, pray, my love, pray, my souls desire!Roma speaks: His sword whirred, his love screamed, and the newborn child cried out."Hajduk sings: Then he took their baby, little white lamb, in his arms, And he carried it downstairs to old mother. See what I have done! Hajduk holds head in his hands in despair.

    Others express shock and great sadness.

    Lights out immediately for ensuing epilogue music.

    SCENE VII: Saturday: marching to a different drummer

    Roma (onstage, pensive and wistful) sings:

  • 8/3/2019 Rumelia Libretto


    Sing today and sing tomorrow Sing forty days and forty nights. Oh Lord, keep together my body and soul, Until the spring So I can hear the cuckoo sing! Sing today and sing tomorrow Sing forty days and forty nights. Sing to me alone, cuckoo, For next summer who knows, If youll sing still for me?

    Hajduk walks onstage, jauntily playing fiddle, singing: Heres why single men live so well: You go evenings where you wish;Roma sings: For next summer who knows?

    Hajduk sings:

    Your wife she does not question you Where you have spent all night.Roma sings: For next summer who knows?Roma (frowning): Ah yes, how could I forget . . . that first husband would have been a bowl of honey, the

    second a glass of wine, and the third a cup of poison!

    Roma and Hajduk: To drink wine Sunday, Not to work Monday, Ah, to go to bed Tuesday, To get up on Wednesday. To get wed Thursday, To then weep Friday. Oh, to ask Saturday: What then shall we do now?Roma (choosing card): The last card of our week spent traveling together, the wheel of fortune, of course.

    Hajduk (with bathos), Roma (sadly) sing: Many were my mothers kind words, Some I paid heed others never. Id take heed now, but its too late, good times have gone forever.Hajduk: Ah, listen . . . dust doesnt gather on a drum.

    He starts to fiddle.

    Roma: What I knew, I have sung.

    Hajduk: What remains would not have fit in a wagon.

    Roma starts to walk off stage, looks back Hajduk. He quickly puts away violin, and rushes to join her.