A German village and castle, early 19th century. Baculus, a schoolmaster
at the estate of the count of Eberbach, has accidentally shot
a buck. His betrothed, Gretchen, is willing to intercede for him,
but he is reluctant, and a young student offers to go instead,
dressed as Gretchen. This is really Baroness Freimann, the Count's
sister, who accompanied by her maid Nanette sets of to keep an
eye on her own betrothed, the Count's brother in law, Baron Kronthal.
The count is much taken by 'Gretchen'; the Baron bribes Bacalus
with 5.000 thalers to give her up; meanwhile, 'Gretchen' is rescued
from the situation by being allowed to spend the night in the
room of the Countess (whose unremitting Greek quotations are a
satire on the recent success of Mendelssohn's 'Antigone' music
and the ensuing mania in Berlin for all things Greek). The unraveling
of all these confusions still leaves Bacalus guilty of poaching
and of having sold his betrothed; but is forgiven by all.
Parts of 'Der
Wildschutz" and " Maria Stuarda" were performed as a double-bill.
Both opera's were performed after each other. Both were totally
different, but are placed in the early-romantic period. The motto,
as the director Gijs de Lange said, to combine these two totally
different pieces, was: 'Pre-romantic Post-modernism' or 'The fashion
of the fashion'. As the designer I chose for a stage-setting where
the singers were able to walk into the audience. The stage floor
was covered with rough cotton, that could be seen as sand or a
carpet. In the background photo's were projected of real flowers
or flowers from tapestries. The costumes were designed in sparkling
colors, a parody of fashion today, with a wink to historical influences.