Maske in Blau

(Mask in Blue)

Revue-operetta in 6 scenes; libretto by Heinz Hentschke; lyrics by Günther Schwenn; Music by Fred Raymond

Metropol-Theater, Berlin; 27 September, 1937
Sophiensaal, Vienna, 15 June 1946.


Scene 1 - the square in front of the Grand Hotel in San Remo

A newspaper-seller announces the news that the painter, Armando Cellini has won first prize in an art competition with his painting 'Mask in Blue' and, when Armando himself appears, he receives a rapturous reception from the people.

Armando is more preoccupied with the model who sat for his winning painting, a young lady whom he met at a masked ball a year before. After the ball, he had painted her portrait, still behind her mask, but then she left. She never allowed him to see her face, promising only to return to San Remo the following year.

Armando's friends and fellow artists, Seppl Fraunhofer, Franz Kilian and Juliska Varady are delighted with Armando's success. Juliska is Seppl's girl-friend, and the two are determined optimists, eager to make the most of what they have.

The young lady who modelled for Armando arrives back in town. She is Evelyne Valera, an Argentinian plantation, who is in San Remo with her steward, Gonzala. She has with her a ring that Armando gave her as a souvenir of their brief acquaintance and as a means by which he might recognise her when she returned to San Remo. However, she intends to keep the ring hidden until she has made up her mind as to whether Armando really is the man with whom she would wish to spend the rest of her life.

It is San Remo's spring flower festival, and Juliska is in especially ebullient mood. It is, of course, her Hungarian temperament. During the festivities, Gonzala gets into conversation with Kilian, who tells the steward about Armando's success and of the torch the artist is carrying for the mysterious woman in his painting. Evelyne is delighted to hear this, but she wants to know more of the painter and his world, so a visit to Armando's studio is arranged.

Scene 2 - Armando's Studio

Armando is excitedly awaiting Evelyne's promised visit when a stranger arrives. His name is Pedro dal Vegas, and he is apparently interested in buying Armando's prize-winning painting. Armando tells him that it is not for sale, and Pedro asks him instead to paint for him the portrait of a lady he is due to meet the following day at the party to be given in Armando's honour by the Marchese Cavalotti. This time Armand agrees.

Evelyne arrives but curiosity causes her to try and find out how Armando feels about the lady whom he had painted in his Mask in Blue. The pair drink a toast to the painting, and Armando can no longer refrain from telling Evelyne how much she reminds him of the lady he painted. Finally she admits her identity and tells him what a long year it has seemed away from him in Argentina as they declare their love for each other.

Scene 3 - the home of Marchese Cavalotti

Marchese Cavalotti is holding his party in honour of Armando, his protégé. Juliska, as usual, is much in evidence, demonstrating her Hungarian passion—this time to Gonzala and the Marchese, as well as to Kilian and Seppl.

Gonzala tells Armando that Pedro dal Vegas is trying to impress himself upon Evelyne, although it is her money more than herself that interests him. He tells Armando that he is going to marry Evelyne, and he gives Armando back his ring, pretending that Evelyne had given returned voluntarily.

Armando believes that his love is at an end. What he cannot know is that Pedro has stolen the ring from the Evelyne's missing handbag. Evelyne, continues to hold the same strong feelings for Armando. At the height of the party, Gonzala and Kilian announce the engagement of Armando and Evelyne, but the dazed Armando will have nothing of it, and the evening ends in recriminations.

Scene 4 - Evelyne's estate on the the Rio Negro in Argentina

Evelyne consoles herself for her lost love with the wild beauty of her homeland and the work that is to be done. She would gladly believe Gonzala's assurance that Armando's deadful rejection of her at the ball in San Remo was due to a misunderstanding, but she knows only that he is gone and her love has gone with him.

Pedro dal Vegas turns up, hoping Evelyne at last has feelings towards him but, although he is again met with indifference, he stirs up more mischief when he intercepts a telegram announcing that the four artists from San Remo have arrived in the nearby town of Vielma. But Pedro has reckoned without Evelyne's faithful gauchos. One of them has seen Pedro intercept the telegram and informed Gonzala.

Since he has been waiting for just such a communication from Kilian, Gonzala is able to deduce that the young people have arrived in Argentina and he duly sets out for Vielma.

Scene 5 - In front of a taberna in Vielma

Armando, Kilian, Seppl and Juliska are sitting drinking wine, wondering why they have not had a reply to their telegram. From the landlord they hear talk of the proposed marriage of Evelyne and Pedro, but from the locals they discover that Pedro is deeply in debt and little respected in the neighbourhood. He has one partisan, however, a gaucho named José, and a quarrel threatens to break out, until Juliska drags Seppl from the fray and Armando manages to smooth matters out. Alarmed at the way events are going, he sets out alone for Evelyne's estate, leaving the others to keep their spirits up as best they can .

Scene 6 - The following morning

Evelyne and Armando finally manage to sort matters out and are once more able to enjoy the romance of being together, this time on the opposite side of the world. Gonzala arrives with the three other members of the group, all anxious to know how matters have worked out and, as soon as Armando has settled his scores with Pedro, they are able to announce that there will be a wedding. And not just a single one but a double one, since Seppl Fraunhofer has also finally decided to throw in his lot with Juliska. The gauchos enter into the spirit of the celebrations, and all pay tribute to the virtues of true temperament.

Adapted from Ganzl's Book of the Musical Theatre


  • Marchese Cavalotti
  • Armando Cellini, Franz Kilian, Josef Fraunhofer (known as Seppl), Juliska Varady, painters
  • Evelyne Valera, a plantation owner
  • Sebastiano Rodrigo Diego Bonifacio Gonzala, her steward
  • Pedro dal Vegas
  • José, a gaucho
  • Landlord of an inn in Viedma
  • Receptionist at the Grand Hotel in San Remo

  • Newspaper-seller, courier, gauchos, painters, servants, hotel guests, society ladies and gentlemen

Musical Numbers

  1. Heut gibt's nur ein Gespräch in San Remo
  2. Freunde, Gefährten, nehmt meinen Dank
  3. Niemals vergess' ich die Nacht - Introduktzon, Chor und Lied des Armando
  4. Frühling in San Remo - Lied der Evelyne
  5. Ja, das Temp'rament - Lied der Julischka
  6. Wenn ich hier im Atelier
  7. Im Gegenteil! Im Gegenteil!
  8. Ich bin ja für die Ehe! - Szene und Duett Julischka - Kilian
  9. Sagen Sie, Armando Cellini
  10. In dir hab' ich mein Glück gefunden - Finaletto Evelyne -Armando
  11. Die Julischka, die Julischka aus Buda-Budapest - Duett Kilian -Julischka mit Chor
  12. Polonaise
  13. Schau einer schönen Frau nie zu tief in die Augen - Lied des Armando
  14. Intermezzo
  15. Wenn hell in unserem Land die Sterne glüh'n - Lied der Evelyne - Männerchor
  16. Sassa, Sassa, mein Lied, dein Lied - Brasilianischer Tango
  17. Walzer in Blau
  18. Am Rio Negro, da steht ein kleines verträumtes Haus - Duett Evelyne - Armando mit Chor
  19. Sassa, Sassa, mein Lied, dein Lied