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Music Text

Libretto by Bernard Thieme after "Die sechste Frau" by Max Christian Feiler (G)


S,A,4Bar,BBar,B; chorus;

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes / Bote & Bock

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere


HENRY VIII, King of England Baritone
KATHERINE PARR, his sixth wife Alto
MARY SUFFOLK, her niece Soprano
GERALD, Earl of Surrey, writer and jester Bass Baritone
THOMAS SEYMOUR, captain spoken role
WRIOTHESLEY, chancellor spoken role
CRANMER, archbishop spoken role
NORFOLK, marshal spoken role
ANN ASKEW, chambermaid spoken role
COCU and COCO, natives of the Catherine Islands Bass, Baritone
HOBBY and LOBBY, two torturers Baritone
PRINCESS ELIZABETH, the later Queen Bess spoken role
A COMEDIAN spoken role
LINGARD, personal physician spoken role
CHIEF COURT COOK spoken role
LIEUTENANT spoken role
Time and Place

England during the Tudor period


Henry VIII, King of England, likes playing the role of a renaissance ruler. His greed for women is insatiable, but he does not like the idea of a harem. What is possible at the same time in Constantinople has to be done in neat order in London. Since Catholic belief does not permit divorce, Henry has converted to Protestantism. An unnessecary step perhaps, for he has his wives executed anyway when he has had enough of them. The head of his sixth wife, Katharine Parr, is not too secure, either. She, however, is cleverer than her predecessors and keeps a tight rein on her dragon. She even succeeds in cheating on her cute little darling. Eventually she stakes everything on one chance. At a royal garden party she arranges that comedians perform the play about the old fat lecher 'Sir John Falstaff'. When the king becomes aware that a mirror is being held up to him he suffers a stroke. Even before he has died, Princess Elizabeth, the future queen of England, stands the folk free beer.




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