Franz Lehár’s THE MOCK MARRIAGE
(UC Santa Barbara Department of Music and UC Santa Barbara Library, 2019)
Selma, daughter of billionaire businessman Thomas Brockwiller, and frustrated by her recent marriage to now-deceased Baron Wilfort, vows to never marry again and, with her friends, starts an organization called WHAM! (Women Hate All Men!). Brockwiller would like to see Selma marry racecar driver Count Harold von Reckenburg. Selma will have nothing to do with such an idea. Harold’s sister, Juliane, who was once engaged to Baron Wilfort, who left her for Selma, wants revenge. Under a false name, Juliane joins WHAM! and informs Selma that Harold’s sister has been known to dress up as a man and impersonate her brother. The WHAM! ladies find this highly amusing and very emancipated. Selma decides to receive Harold—believing him to be Juliane. As part of her game-playing, Selma invites Harold to kiss her in public. Her scheming father, feigning shock at this display, declares that this better be an engagement kiss. Selma, reveling in the folly of the whole affair and still believing Harold to be a woman, agrees and Harold and Selma become man and wife. At the subsequent party, Juliane appears as Countess von Reckenburg, as Selma, to her great dismay, is informed of the true gender of her husband. But … there is one more act to go!
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