Sir Morosus, a retired admiral, suffers from extreme noise sensitivity. He lives as a hermit in his house. His housekeeper and barber are his only contacts. The garrulous housekeeper is getting on his nerves. He throws her out when she vociferously argues with the barber. The barber helps to let the old sea dog become appealed by the thought of marrying a young and quiet woman. Unexpectedly, Henry, the nephew of Sir Morosus, appears. Following the joy of the reunion comes the shock: Henry has brought his colleagues with him – an Italian opera troupe. Morosus disinherits Henry and instructs the barber to look for a bride for him. The intrigue begins because the barber gets an idea that is to be carried out by the members of the troupe. It almost goes almost without saying that Aminta, the prima donna of the opera troupe and the wife of Henry (a fact that is kept secret from Morosus), plays the main role in the comedy that now begins. Morosus’ life is transformed into a noisy hell. In any event, he finds peace again when the intrigue is resolved. Laughing, he forgives everyone because he recognizes the salutary effect of the subterfuge.
Comic opera in three acts by Richard Strauss
Running time 3 hours 10 minutes
Premiere 12 Jun 1998