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The Black Hussar

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The Black Hussar

by Alois Wohlmuth

Genre: Operetta
Format of Original Source: Plot summary
Recommended Adaptation Length: 60 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


Von Helbert, an officer of the Black Hussars, in the disguise of an army chaplain, is seeking to foment an insurrection in the town of Trautenfeld. Hackenback, the town magistrate, has carried himself so diplomatically, as between the Russians and French, and is so opposed to any rupture with either from fear of sudden visitation, that Von Helbert’s efforts to induce his townsmen to rise against the Napoleonic régime are not altogether successful. The French in the mean time are hunting for him, but he cunningly succeeds in getting a description of the magistrate posted for that of himself. To be ready for any sudden emergency, Hackenback has a reversible panel on his house, one side having the portrait of the Czar and the other that of Napoleon. When he is suspected by the French, he calls their attention to it; but unfortunately for him the Russian side is exposed, and this with the description which Von Helbert had so kindly posted leads to his arrest. Finally the Black Hussar regiment arrives, and captures the French troops just as they have captured the Russian, which had previously been in occupation, so that there is no need for further disguises. The humorous situations in the opera grow out of the love-making between Von Helbert and his companion Waldermann and the magistrate’s daughters Minna and Rosetta.


Too trifling a plot to adapt, about a disguised chaplain in Napoleonic times.



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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