The village barber (Schenk)

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Work data
Title: The village barber
Shape: Singspiel
Original language: German
Music: Johann Baptist Schenk
Libretto : Joseph and Paul Weidmann
Premiere: October 30, 1796
Place of premiere: Vienna
Place and time of the action: At a village barber at plait time
  • Lux, the village barber ( baritone )
  • Suschen, his ward ( soprano )
  • Adam, his journeyman ( tenor )
  • Round, the schoolmaster ( bass )
  • Joseph, son of the tenant (tenor)
  • Mrs. Margarethe, widow ( mezzo-soprano )
  • Peter the Tailor (bass)
  • Philipp, farmer and juror (bass)
  • Thomas, farmer and juror (bass)

The village barber is a singspiel in two acts by the composer Johann Baptist Schenk ; The brothers Joseph and Paul Weidmann were responsible for the libretto .

This play had already been staged in the Vienna Burgtheater in the form of a comedy in 1785 , but it did not have the desired success. After a revision by Schenk and Weidmann, this work had its “new” world premiere as a Singspiel on October 30, 1796. In later productions, the two acts were streamlined into one act.


1st act

Suschen and Joseph are in love with each other. But since Suschen's guardian, the barber Lux, wants to marry his ward himself, he forbids his ward to interact with Joseph. Therefore, the lovers play him a comedy: Suschen publicly announces that she cannot suffer Joseph and Joseph claims that he has poisoned himself because of lovesickness.

2nd act

In order to cure Suschen from other men forever, Lux now demands of his ward to marry Joseph on his deathbed. When this happened and the pastor blessed this connection, Joseph miraculously recovered. From Joseph's healthy appetite, Lux recognizes that he has been betrayed, but can comfort himself that as a bath (= doctor) he acted for the benefit of a person. The curtain falls with the song "Es lebe Lux, der Wundermann".


  • Johann Schenk: The village barber. Comical Singspiel in two acts (Gustav Modes text library; 83). Mode-Verlag, Berlin 1874.
  • Johann Schenk: The village barber. Singspiel in one act . ADEVA, Graz 1960 (unchanged reprint of the Vienna 1927 edition)


  • Leo Melitz: Guide through the operas . Globus-Verlag, Berlin 1914, pp. 69–70.
  • Horst Seeger : Opera Lexicon . Heinrichshofen Verlag, Wilhelmshaven 1979, ISBN 3-7959-0271-1 , p. 161.

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