The Student Prince


In The Student Prince, Karl Franz, prince of the kingdom of Karlsberg, has grown up sheltered and under tutors. Since childhood, he has been engaged to Princess Margaret. His grandfather, the king, sends him to improve his social skills as a regular student at the venerable University of Heidelberg. Karl and his entourage take up quarters at a local inn, and helped by new friends, Detlef, Lucas, and Von Asterberg, the prince soon starts enjoying student life. He also falls in love with Kathie, the innkeeper’s niece, and the couple considers eloping. But when Prince Karl learns that his grandfather is dying, he realizes that he must return to Karlsberg to become the new king, and to honor the arranged marriage which neither he nor the princess wants.

*Music samples provided courtesy of Jay Records and Warner Bros Music.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • Prologue
    Prince Karl Franz is heir to the (fictitious) German kingdom of Karlsberg. He has grown up fatherless, under rather gloomy military conditions of castle life (“By our bearing so sedate”). He has been educated by tutors, in particular, kindly Doctor Engel, who has taught him the songs of his alma mater, the venerable University of Heidelberg (“Golden Days”). Karl Franz has been promised in marriage, since childhood, to the Princess Margaret (Johanna in some versions), but he has never met her. His grandfather, King Ferdinand, sends him to the University incognito, to live as an ordinary student, and improve his social skills. Karl Franz sets off under the watchful eye of Doctor Engel, accompanied by his snooty valet Lutz, who has his own assistant, Hubert.

    Act I
    At Heidelberg, Herr Ruder keeps the rustic Inn of Three Gold Apples (“Garlands Bright”). His beautiful niece Kathie waits tables in the inn’s beer-garden. The inn is very popular with the students, who come there to drink and sing (“Drink! Drink! Drink!”, “To the Inn We’re Marching”). Karl Franz, the finicky Lutz and Hubert arrive for the spring term and take rooms at the Three Gold Apples, to the delight of Engel and the disgust of Lutz (“In Heidelberg Fair”, “Welcome to Prince”). He falls in love, almost at first sight, with Kathie, who returns his affection (“Deep in My Heart, Dear”). But he is a royal heir, and she is a commoner.

    Karl Franz also makes friends with three students, Detlef, Lucas and von Asterberg, and shares the camaraderie of student life, with nights of enthusiastic drinking and singing (“Overhead the Moon is Beaming”). He joins their student corps (“Come Sir, Will You Join Our Noble Saxon Corps?”).

    Act II
    As the term passes, Karl Franz and his friends continue to enjoy student life (“Farmer Jacob Lay-a-Snoring”, “Students’ Life”). By the end of the term, Karl Franz and Kathie are deeply in love.

    But then Karl Franz receives a surprise visit from Princess Margaret and her mother. They bring news that the king is ill and commands the prince to return home for the ceremony of betrothal to the princess. After they leave, Karl Franz and Kathie consider eloping to Paris. But Doctor Engel and Count Von Mark (the prime minister of Karlsberg) remind the prince of his duty to his kingdom. Karl Franz reluctantly agrees to obey the king’s command. He promises Kathie that he will return soon (“Farewell, Dear”). He takes leave of his friends (“Thoughts Will Come Back to Me”), and the students salute the University (“Gaudeamus Igitur”).

    Act III
    Back in Karlsberg, two years pass, with Karl Franz unable to return to Heidelberg. His grandfather has died, and Karl Franz is now King. His life is bound up in court ceremony (“Waltz Ensemble”). Princess Margaret has also had a secret relationship with another man, Captain Tarnitz (“Just We Two”). But as King, Karl Franz must honor the betrothal to Margaret (“Gavotte”). Margaret knows that Karl Franz has long pined for an old love, and she has heard rumors that in Heidelberg, he fell in love with a tavern keeper’s niece.

    Word arrives from Heidelberg that Doctor Engel has died there. Karl Franz is persuaded to visit Heidelberg for a brief reunion with his old friends, and he hopes to see Kathie again (“What Memories”).

    Act IV
    Princess Margaret goes to Heidelberg first, and secretly visits Kathie. Margaret persuades her that for the good of the kingdom, she must break off with Karl Franz. They agree that Kathie will tell Karl Franz she is in love with another man and is going to marry him. Karl Franz will then finally be free to accept Margaret, who has come to love him. Meanwhile, the students of Heidelberg continue their merry ways (“Sing a Little Song”, “To the Inn We’re Marching (reprise)”, “Overhead the Moon is Beaming (reprise)”, “Come Boys, Let’s All Be Gay Boys”).

    Karl Franz arrives, meets his old friends and visits Kathie. True to her promise, she tells him of her fictitious new love and plans to marry. Karl Franz resolves to marry Margaret without further delay, but Kathie will always be his true love (“Deep in My Heart Dear (reprise)”).

  • Book and Lyrics by Dorothy V Donnelly
    Music by Sigmund Romberg

  • Full Orchestration:

    2 Violin I
    1 Violin II
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Flute I & II (Flute II doubles Piccolo)
    1 Oboe
    1 Clarinet I in Bb
    1 Clarinet II in Bb
    1 Bassoon

    1 Horn I & II
    1 Trumpet I & II
    1 Trombone I
    1 Trombone II

    1 Harp
    1 Percussion:

    Timpani (2 drums)
    Bass Drum
    Snare Drum
    Wood Block

    Piano (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material)
    Note: Stage Piano music for “Farmer Jacob” number is played from the Piano-Conductor’s Score.

    Optional additional materials are available (see list under Rehearsal Materials).

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book for Director
    20     Prompt Books for Cast
    30     Chorus-Vocal Parts

    Optional Additional Materials

    1       Full Score (Partitur) in 4 volumes is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration. [SAMPLE]

  • (In order of Appearance)

    Four Lackeys Male Quartet
    Prime Minister Von Mark Distinguished man of 60
    Doctor Engel (Baritone) Middle-aged tutor of Karl Franz
    Prince Karl Franz (Tenor) Heir to the throne – a handsome boy of 21
    Gretchen (Soprano) Comedienne, Maid at the Inn of the Three Golden Apples
    Ruder (Baritone) Keeper of the Inn – Uncle of Kathie
    Toni Waiter at the Inn
    Lutz The comic. The Prince’s valet
    Hubert A footman
    Count Hugo Detlef (Tenor) Student, leader of Saxon Corps
    Von Asterberg (Tenor) Student, member of Saxon Corps
    Lucas (Bass) Student, leader of Rheinisher Corps
    Kathie (Soprano) A very cute maid at the Inn, niece of Ruder
    Grand Duchess Anastasia Domineering mother of Princess Margaret
    Princess Margaret (Soprano) Beautiful fiancée of Karl Franz
    Captain Tarnitz (Tenor) Officer attending Princess Margaret
    Baron Arnheim Gentleman of the Court
    Countess Leyden Lady of the Court
    Two Guards
    Captain of the Guard
    Nicholas Servant at the Inn
    Rudolph Winter Keeper of a livery stable in Vienna. Cousin of Kathie

    Lackeys, Waiters and Waitresses at the Inn, Ladies and Gentlemen of the
    Court, Students of the Corps, Ladies-in-waiting to the Princess and Flower Girls

  • Opening on Broadway in 1924, THE STUDENT PRINCE became the longest-running show of that decade, playing for 608 performances at Jolson’s 59th Street Theatre starring Howard Marsh and Roberta Beatty. It was revived on Broadway both in 1931 and in1943, and at the New York City Opera in 1988.

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    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Opera Grand Rapids GRAND RAPIDS, MI 06/09/2016 06/12/2016