Armidale - October 1969
Stage Direction by Ilford Keena
Musical Direction by Chris Bettle
Choreography by Pamela Poole
By arrangement with Chappell & Co. Ltd.
"Schubert's music evokes a heavenly state of innocence, candour, tenderness - the place where those meet together who loved each other well on earth. Schubert's music is an aspiration towards this lost paradise. In this lies its power to move us and hold us spellbound; it is in this sense that it is like no other music, communicating with us in a language all its own." - Marcel Schneider.
To Schubert it was the passion of love that gave life its meaning, beauty and joy. At 17 he fell in love with Theresa Grob and later wrote, "I love her. For three years I hoped to marry her but I could find no situation that would meet our needs. So she married another man because her parents wished it. I still love her."
Franz Schubert died in 1828 when he was only thirty-one. His tragically short life was spent in poverty. In "Lilac Time" we meet a number of people who were in real life close friends of Schubert. Although Lili is fictitious she might well represent Theresa and in this story we see the character of Schubert faithfully portrayed.
The operetta tells of Schubert's unselfish love for Lili. The action takes place in 1826, in Vienna, a beautiful and gay city, even in the poorer area where Schubert lived. He is often visited by his Bohemian-minded friends, Schober, Schwint, Kappel and Vogl and here too meets the charming Lili. She has accompanied her sisters, Tilli and Willi on an assignation with their lovers, Binder and Braun and when their father, the court glass-maker, Christian Veit appears, they appeal to Schober to help them avoid him. Schober introduces them to his friends, including Schubert and they pretend that Lili has come to arrange for singing lessons and that her sisters accompanied her. Schober and his friends then ply Veit with wine and persuade him to accept Binder and Braun as sons-in-law.
In the second act we get a glimpse of Viennese society life of the time in Veit's house where the gay double wedding takes place and Marini, the Prima Ballerina of the Opera, arrives to look for her lover Schober, who is secretly in love with Lili. Schubert has fallen deeply in love with Lili, but he cannot find the courage to declare his feelings, for he is a shy man and a little plain in appearance when compared with his handsome friends. Schubert therefore asks Schober to declare his love for him by singing the song which he has composed and dedicated to Lili. Rather reluctantly Schober agrees but the plan does not work out, as, in the meantime, the jealous Marini has warned Lili to have nothing to do with Franz (Schober) as he has broken the hearts of many young girls. Lili believes she is talking about Franz Schubert and so becomes very cool towards him. When Schober sings to her they fall in love and Schubert's chances are lost forever.
After a great deal of intrigue involving mistaken identities, threats of duels and much song and laughter, Schubert steps aside to enable Lili and Schober to enjoy their happiness. He is greatly saddened by the event but swears that he will devote the rest of his life to music.
Vienna - 1826
The courtyard of a Lodging House
'Oh! The Maytime, is a gay time' - Strolling Musicians
'Just a Little Ring' - Tilli and Willi and Lili Veit
'Four Jolly Brothers' - Schober, Vogl, Schwind and Kappel
'Hark, Hark the Lark' - Schubert, Schober, Vogl, Schwind and Kappel
'Under the Lilac Bough' - Schubert, Schober, Vogl, Schwind and Kappel
'The Golden Song'- Lili and Schubert
'Prosit! Prosit!" - Ensemble
A Sitting Room in Christian Veit's Home
'Dream Enthralling' - Schubert
'When Skies are Blue, When Pigeons Coo' - Lili, Tilli, Willi, Schober, Binder and Braun
'The Flower' - Lili and Schubert
'Girls and Boys' - Veit and Mrs Veit
'I Want to Carve Your Name' - Schober, Lili and Schubert
'Strolling Through the Morning Air' - Ensemble
'My Sweetest Song of All' - Schubert
'When the Lilac Bloom Uncloses' - Lili and Schubert
'Lilac Time' - Ensemble
CAST (In order of appearance)
Mrs Grimm, a caretaker: Peg Leask, Mrs Weber, a lodger: Helen Little, Rosi, Marini's maid: Elizabeth Cullen,Novotny, a detective: John Lovett, Ferdinand Binder, a postmaster: John Little, Andreas Braun, a saddler: Ian Wearing, Schani, a page: Mark Rummery, Mr Veit's three daughters,Tilli: Jean Yarwood, Willi: Nola Cummins,Lili: Claire Keoghan, Johann Michael Vogl, opera singer: John Leslie, Moritz von Schwind, a painter: Bruce Marshall, Kappel, a draughtsman: Gwyn James, Baron Franz von Schober, a poet: Ken Dixon, Franz Schubert: Ken Field, Christian Veit, court glassmaker: Bruce Leman, Count Scharntorff, Danish Ambassador: Bob Dunn, Mrs Veit: May Croaker, Sally, servant to Veit: Jayne Pike, Demoiselle Fiametta Marini, Prima Ballerina at the opera: Tonia Barrington, Waiter: Richard Blomfield
Street Musicians, Servants, Guests, Vienna Police
Ballet: Shaun Yarwood, Janis Cashman, Margaret Haydon, Wendy Moore, Sally Stewart, Jeanette Webb, Elizabeth Hughes, Gillian Brett
Violins: Lois Kesteven (Leader), Colin Sholl, Allan Rae, Elfi Sturmer, Florence Brereton, Reinette Black, Viola: Francis Atkinson, Celli: Arpad Got, Elizabeth Lewis, Dorothy Miller, Flute: Margaret Hawkins, Oboe: Evan Lewis, Clarinets: Jim Hawkins, Leo Atherton, Bassoon: Narelle Williams, French Horn: Jim Ridsdil-Smith,Trumpet: Pat Costigan, Piano: Margaret Cominos
Stage Manager: Howard Wheaton assisted by Lew Payne
Stage Crew: Lew Payne, Doug Lobban, Beale Williams
Lighting: John Wiseman, Tony Marjoram
Wardrobe: Syliva Pink, Clarice Faint
Choreography: Pamela Poole
Mistress of Dance: Winsome Fayle
Make-up: Aline Christenson assisted by Elaine Smilie, Janis Cashman, Gloria Cook, Robyn Busby, Sue Bellingham, Mary Quinn
Stage Designer: Jacqueline Webby
Programme Cover and Posters: Mandy Rich
Publicity: Sue Bellingham
Business Manager: Clarice Faint
House Manager: John Greet
Properties: Els Coventry, Nerida Curtis
Photography: Frank Anderson
Usherettes: Shirley Falconer, Pam McWatters, Sue Faint, Margaret Khan, June Holstein