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Published byLaureen Sims
Modified about 1 year ago
Manuel de Falla’s Ballet of the Three-cornered Hat
“Young bride, lock the door with a crossbar...
“…for even if the devil is sleeping, like as not he’ll wake up.”
Part One: Afternoon
A miller and his wife are hard at work.
An argument breaks out between the miller and a blackbird.
The miller’s wife laughs at him…
…and calms the bird.
The miller and his wife exchange pleasantries.
The miller draws water from the well.
A passing gentleman flirts with the miller’s wife while whistling.
He is chased away by the miller.
The miller’s wife laughs.
A procession approaches…the town’s mayor, his wife, and their entourage.
The mayor is struck by the beauty of the miller’s wife.
The mayor’s wife looks on disapprovingly.
The miller and his wife resume their work.
The miller flirts with a young mill-girl.
The miller’s wife becomes jealous and begins to weep.
The mayor is heard approaching.
The miller’s wife imitates his arrogance and limping gait.
The mayor returns to court the miller’s wife.
The miller’s wife assures the miller of her constancy and tells him to hide.
Dance of the Miller’s Wife (Fandango)
The mayor, smitten by the seductive dance, enters and bows to the miller’s wife.
The miller’s wife pretends to be honored by his presence…
She teases him by offering grapes…
…but in her animated dance, she keeps them out of his reach.
The mayor clumsily lunges for a kiss.
The miller leaps out of hiding.
The mayor is panic-stricken.
The miller rushes in, pretending to look for a thief.
The mayor falls to the ground.
He is fearful of the miller’s revenge.
He flees the scene.
The miller’s wife resumes her dance.
Part Two: Evening
The neighbors come to celebrate a feast at the mill. Men and women drink and dance.
The miller’s wife gracefully thanks her friends, then asks her husband to dance for them.
The Miller’s Dance (Farruca)
After his dance, the miller is congratulated by his friends.
They laugh and drink, and are in high spirits.
All of a sudden there is a knock at the door.
The miller, his wife, and their friends look at each other in surprise and dismay.
The miller opens the door to find the mayor’s bodyguards, holding a warrant for his arrest.
Despite the miller’s protestations, he is carried away with no reason given for his arrest.
The miller’s wife attempts to reclaim her husband, but is turned away roughly by the mayor’s bodyguards.
All alone, the miller’s wife gazes sorrowfully into the distance.
From afar, in the stillness of the night, she hears a song…
“At night the cuckoo calls, warning married people to shut their bolts tightly, because the devil isn’t sleeping! At night, the cuckoo calls: ‘Cuckoo, Cuckoo, Cuckoo!”
Still gazing into the night, she walks slowly back to the house, candle in hand.
The cuckoo clock strikes nine.
The miller’s wife extinguishes her candle and draws the curtains.
The mayor appears, accompanied by two bodyguards.
He stumbles repeatedly, but recovers his balance and dismisses his companions.
Now alone, the mayor struts around, fancying himself a modern-day Don Juan.
Having finished his fantasy, the mayor tries to cross the bridge to the miller’s home…
…but falls into the water…
…and cries for help.
The miller’s wife comes running out of the house, alarmed by the commotion.
No sooner does the mayor drag himself out of the water than he begins to court the miller’s wife.
She refuses his advances.
His wooing becomes more insistent.
Infuriated by the mayor’s behavior, the miller’s wife threatens him with a gun.
Terrified, the mayor falls to the ground and convulses.
As the miller’s wife runs off, the mayor quickly takes off his wet clothes and puts them on a rock to dry.
Having escaped the mayor’s bodyguards, the miller returns…
…and sees the mayor’s clothes on the rock!
Suspecting the worst, the miller fumes and plots his revenge.
Seized with an idea, the miller changes into the mayor’s clothes, leaving his own on the rock.
The mayor reappears, and has no choice but to put on the miller’s clothes.
The mayor’s bodyguards arrive, and apprehend the mayor, mistaking him for the miller.
Final Dance (Jota): general dance, during which the miller and his wife are reconciled.
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