Undine (Lortzing)

  • Undine, foster daughter of Tobias and Marthe (soprano )
  • Kühleborn, Water Prince (baritone )
  • Bertalda, Duke Henry's daughter (soprano )
  • Knights of Hugo Ringstetten (Tenor)
  • Veit, squire the former things (tenor buffo )
  • Hans, Butler ( bass)
  • Tobias, an old fisherman ( bass)
  • Marthe, his wife (Alt )
  • Father Heilmann ( bass)
  • Villagers, water spirits, nobles, heralds, pages, squires, hunting entourage (chorus )
  • Larger tasks for ballet in the second and fourth act

Undine is a romantic magical opera in four acts ( six images ) by Albert Lortzingstraße. As with many of his works for the stage, he was his own librettist here. First performance was in Magdeburg on 21 April 1845. He gets his inspiration was the tale Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué, which he had formed itself almost thirty years before Lortzingstraße to a libretto for ETA Hoffmann's opera " Undine ".


Two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, strings


Act I

First Photo: In a fisherman's hut on the lake

Knights of Hugo Ringstetten and his squire Veit have a few months ago found in the fisherman's hut by Tobias and Marthe refuge when they had to flee from a storm. In the fishing hut also Undine, the beautiful adopted daughter of fishermen lives. You and the Knights have fallen in love and now the wedding is to take place. All except the squire will sail towards the chapel.

Veit has found a keg of wine on the lakeshore. Thankfully, he tasted the juice of the grape. Suddenly enters a proud man he has never seen the room. He calls himself Kühleborn and showered Veit with questions about his Lord. Because the wine Vitus has loosened tongue, he says things that he otherwise would never say: Undine was for Hugo by Ringstetten, like so many women before her, only an adventure. Kühleborn seething with anger. He decides to stay in Undine's close to them, to protect his daughter in danger.

The newly weds returns with Marthe and Tobias, accompanied by a few villagers to the fisherman's hut back. Shortly thereafter, also seems Father Heilmann, who had Hugo and Undine just dared to follow. Only Undine noticed that it's her father Kühleborn that is slipped into the role of father. After Undine adopted by their foster parents and the villagers, it makes up with Hugo, Veit and the " Father " on the way.

Second Act

Second Image: Hall in the castle of Duke Henry

Veit told his friend, the winemaker Hans what he has now experienced. He, of course, also comes to the wedding of his men to talk to Undine. He voices the suspicion Undine is in reality not a man but a mermaid.

Hugo and Undine are added. The knight asks his wife to finally tell him her true identity, she has indicated only very vague at the wedding. Undine heard the request and told him everything. Actually, concludes her report, is the only difference between people and water spirits only that the latter did not have souls. But if a man a mermaid love sincere, could they too will be inspired. Both fall into each other's arms.

The proud Bertalda enters the hall. Her entourage includes Kühleborn. This time he has disguised himself as a diplomat of the Kingdom of Naples. Now only learns Bertalda that Hugo, who had once promised herself the marriage, is now married.

Undine, of course, is not hidden that the Neapolitan ambassador is her father Kühleborn. As Bertalda begins to scoff at Undine's humble origins, the latter may no longer hold back. He turns the tables and announced Bertalda was in fact the daughter of the fishermen Marthe and Tobias. Duke Henry found them fifteen years ago on the shores of the lake and taken to his castle. Then there is Kühleborn recognizable as water prince. Furious, he leaves the hall, rushes into the garden and vanishes in the well. Meanwhile Undine tries to comfort the desperate Bertalda.

Act Three

After the hunt, organized by Hugo in his forest, the hunting party celebrates in a clearing near the lake. Bertalda it to kindle a fire in Hugo that he finds her again desirable succeed. As Undine added encounters, they must learn that her lover wants nothing more to do with her. Even Undine's warning against the vengeance of the spirits of water falls on deaf ears. Hugo enteilt with Bertalda.

Kühleborn comes with its water spirits and leads Undine back in his wet Empire.

Act Four

Fourth Image: Courtyard of the castle Ringstetten

Hugo and Bertalda celebrate their wedding feast. Besides, a lot of wine flowing. Vitus and the winemaker can not get enough of it. Full of beans, remove the two large stone which had been placed in fear of the vengeance of the water spirits to the mouth of the well. As soon as they have returned to the wedding party in the ballroom, Undine rises from the fountain.

Fifth Picture: Back in the ballroom

The hustle and bustle is abruptly interrupted when going out at midnight all the lights in the castle. A portent equal Undine appears pale figure. Hugo sees near his end. But Undine's great love for him has not yet expired. In Hugo's heart glows even a spark of love for Undine, and no sooner had he seen her, a fire from the spark back. He is now sure he can find his inner peace only at Undine page. They fall into each other's arms. Hugo's castle collapses into itself.

Sixth picture: In cool water Borns Empire

Kühleborn announced the verdict on Hugo: He has to stay on forever and ever with Undine in the realm of water spirits.


Lortzingstraße, which is mainly known for its folk buffo operas, turning to Undine with serious issues; some critics complain that the work that he schwertat with the tragic drama and it is therefore often lack of character depth to his characters. However, there are also in the Undine melodies that were popular. These include:

In the first act:

  • Quintet ( Undine, Tobias, Marthe, Father, Hugo): "Oh, what joy, what bliss! ";
  • Hugo's Romance: "I rode to the big guns games";
  • Vitus drinking song with the choir in the finale: "It's the wine ";
  • Undine's farewell to her foster parents, also from the final: " I am leaving now from your midst ."

In the second act:

  • Recitative and Aria Undine in which they of Ringstetten reveals Hugo their origin:
  • Cool Born's story in the finale: "It lives on the sea-shore a poor fisherman pair."

In the third act:

  • Vitus song: "Father, mother, sisters, brothers, I have no more in the world ";
  • Duet Bertalda / Hugo: " I will not let you!";
  • The final, brings back in the Kühleborn with the water spirits Undine: " Now it is finished! You return back to home. "

In the fourth act:

  • Song of the winemaker: " In wine there is truth alone! ";
  • Grand finale.