Zar und Zimmermann
Zar und Zimmermann (Tsar and Carpenter) is a comic opera in three acts, music by Albert Lortzing, libretto by the composer after Georg Christian Römer's Der Bürgermeister von Saardam, oder Die zwei Peter, itself based on the French play Le Bourgmestre de Saardam, ou Les deux Pierre by Anne-Honoré-Joseph Duveyrier de Mélésville, Jean-Toussaint Merle, and Eugène Centiran de Boirie. Ultimately, it goes back to the historical Grand Embassy of Peter the Great.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere cast, December 22, 1837
(Conductor: - )
|Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia||baritone||Karl Becker|
|Peter Ivanov, young Russian carpenter||tenor||Albert Lortzing|
|Van Bett, burgomaster of Saardam||bass||Gotthelf Leberecht Berthold|
|Marie, daughter of van Bett||soprano||Caroline Günther-Bachmann|
|Marquis de Chateauneuf, French ambassador||tenor||Joseph Wilhelm Swoboda|
|Widow Browe, master carpenter||mezzo-soprano||Caroline Günther-Bachmann|
|General Lefort, Russian ambassador||bass||Pogner|
|Lord Syndham, English ambassador||bass||Heinrich Richter|
Peter the Great of Russia, disguised as Peter Michaelov, a common laborer, is working in a shipyard in the Dutch town of Saardam, to learn shipbuilding techniques for his navy. He befriends a fellow Russian also working in the yard, Peter Ivanov, a deserter from the Russian army. Peter Ivanov is in love with Marie, the niece of Van Bett, the Burgomaster of Saardam. Tsar Peter is told of trouble in Russia, and decides to return home.
Van Bett has been told to find a foreigner named Peter in the shipyard. The English ambassador, Syndham, and the French ambassador, Chateauneuf, have both heard the rumor of Tsar Peter's disguised presence and are looking for him, which convinces Van Bett that "Peter" is an important man. But in confusion, he identifies the wrong Peter. Chateauneuf recognises the real Tsar, and concludes an alliance with him. Syndham is fooled and presents Peter Ivanov with a passport.
Van Bett, very confused, salutes Peter Ivanov with an elaborate ceremony. Peter Ivanov gives the passport to Tsar Peter, who uses it to leave quietly, having first blessed Peter Ivanov's marriage to Marie, and appointed him to a high office in Russia.
Recordings and adaptations
- Amadeus Almanac
- Anderson, James, The Complete Dictionary of Opera and Operetta, Wings Books, 1993. ISBN 0-517-09156-9
- Brown, Clive (1992), 'Zar und Zimmermann' in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. Stanley Sadie (London) ISBN 0-333-73432-7