The Fortune Teller (operetta)
|The Fortune Teller|
|Lyrics||Harry B. Smith|
|Book||Harry B. Smith|
1929 Broadway revival
The Fortune Teller is an operetta in three acts written by Victor Herbert, with a libretto by Harry B. Smith. After a brief tryout in Toronto, it premiered on Broadway on September 26, 1898 at Wallack's Theatre and ran for 40 performances. It was revived on November 4, 1929 at Jolson's 59th Street Theatre and ran for 16 performances.
Herbert wrote his sixth operetta for prima donna Alice Nielsen and her newly formed Alice Nielsen Opera Company. Nielsen having earned widespread praise in The Serenade, requested and received not one but three roles in The Fortune Teller. The story is set in Hungary and involves Irma, an heiress from Budapest, who is studying for the ballet. Irma is in love with a young Hussar captain but is being forced to marry the silly Count Barezowski. When a gypsy fortune teller, Musette, arrives, she is mistaken for Irma, a case of mistaken identity that fosters many complications.
Songs include the famous "Gypsy Love Song," ('Slumber on, my little gypsy sweetheart') and "Romany Life."
Roles and original cast
- Musette, a fortune teller* - Alice Nielsen
- Captain Ladislas, a Hussar - Frank Rushworth
- Fresco, a dance master (trouser role) - Richard Golden
- Count Berezowski, a composer of no renown - Joseph W. Herbert
- Irma, a ballet student* - Alice Nielsen
- Mlle Pompon, a fading prima donna - Marguerite Sylva
- Fedor, Irma's twin brother* - Alice Nielsen
- Sandor, a gypsy leader - Eugene Cowles
- Irene, Trina and Ruth, ballet students
- Corporal, a Hussar
The roles marked with an asterisk (*) are all played by the same woman.