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Czar and Carpenter

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Czar and Carpenter

by Albert Lortzing

Genre: Operetta
Format of Original Source: Plot summary
Recommended Adaptation Length: Two Hours

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


The opening of the first act of the “Czar and Carpenter” discloses Peter the Great and Peter Ivanoff, a deserter from the Russian army, at work in the shipyard of Mrs. Brown in Saardam. The British and French ambassadors, having been notified that the Czar is there in disguise, are searching for him with the object of negotiating a treaty with him, or, failing that, to abduct him. The British ambassador employs the pompous burgomaster of Saardam to find him a Russian named Peter, without however disclosing his real character to him. The burgomaster happens upon Peter Ivanoff and brings him to the ambassador, who, supposing him to be the Czar, seeks to arrange a treaty with him, and finally gives him a passport so that he may visit England. Meanwhile the people of Saardam, being informed that the Czar is with them, prepare a reception for him.


Peter the Great and Peter the Deserter (from the army) unwittingly swap places.  The ensuing plot is rather light and thin…but perhaps there’s an adaptation which could flow from the central premise of the role-swap?


A word of caution:  This plot summary was written by 19th-century literary critic George Upton, who often mixes personal opinion with summation.  You would be advised to consult the original source material, if the general plot appeals to you.


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