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The Gypsy Baron

Armidale - April 1969

Stage Direction by Jim Graham

Musical Direction by Neville Meale

By Johann Strauss. By arrangement with Chappel & Co Ltd.


The play opens outside the home of Zsupan, Mayor of Zrinyi in Hungary. A band of gypsies who live nearby wish to see the mayor but are met first by Otto, the mayor's major-domo, who is in love with Arletta the mayor's daughter. Arletta however does not return his love. Mayor Zsupan appears and is told by the gypsies that their Queen Czipra wishes to see him. Czipra enters and complains to the mayor that the mayor's pigs roam over the gypsy encampment. The gypsies are guardians of this estate, it having been entrusted to them by the exiled overlord Feodor Barinkay. Zsupan is disdainful but is sobered somewhat by Czipra's warning that in a dream she saw Barinkay's son return to claim his lost estate. Zsupan is also troubled by his housekeeper Mirabella who wishes to marry him.

More trouble is in store for a special Commissioner, Count Kareska arrives from Vienna with news that the exiled Count is now dead but that his son Sandor is due to arrive soon to claim the estate and castle. Kareska also reveals that the castle contains a great treasure hidden there many years ago and that the young heir is as yet ignorant of this fact. They concoct a plan to get their hands on the treasure but this plan depends upon Arletta marrying Barinkay.

Barinkay arrives and although Arletta is thrust at him by her father, he declines the offer. Instead his eye falls upon Saffi the grand-daughter of Czipra. He proposes marriage to her and she accepts. Czipra then reveals that she too knows of the existence of the treasure and that she alone knows its whereabouts. The treasure is then produced and Barinkay promises his gypsy friends a share in his new found wealth.

The general excitement is interrupted by the arrival of recruiting officers whose aim is to gain solders to fight in a war which has again broken out against the Turks. The gypsy men are enlisted along with the mayor and Otto. Barinkay too departs to do his duty, while Saffi is placed under the control of Kareska for the duration of the war.

Act III opens in Vienna - the war is now over and the women are awaiting the return of their men. Graf Peter Homonoy the Chancellor enters and exchanges heated words with Kareska over the latter's ungentlemanly treatment of Saffi. Zsupan and Otto are the first men to arrive and tell very colourful stories of their exploits. They do however win the hearts of Mirabella and Arletta. The other men soon enter and with them Barinkay. He is told by the Chancellor that because of his fine leadership of his men, the Emperor has seen fit to restore his estates and treasure to him and has also conferred on him the style and title of the "Gypsy Baron". Barinkay is united with Saffi and the play ends on a note of great rejoicing.


Act I

Outside the gates of Zsupan's residence in Zrinyi

Act II

Before the entrance of Barinkay's Castle


A state room of palace in Vienna


Act I

'Up in the morning with the lark' 
'I haven't found the right man yet'
'Stange are the powers'
'Birds in their little nests agree'
'Danube River of dreams'
'I've lived a sheltered life'
'Song of welcome'
'Sweet is Gypsy life'

Act II

'Hail midsummer morn'
'Treasure waltz'
'Recruiting song'
'In the army'


'When Vienna Sings'
'How I done it'
'Marching along'
'Sweet is Gypsy life'


Saffi: Pat Bennett, Barinkay: Bob Dunn, Homonoy: Ivan Morsley, Kareska: Ken Field, Zsupan: Barrie Chapman, Arletta: Audrey Heatwole, Otto: Denny Fayle, Czipra: Barbara Diehl, Mirabella: Helen Denton,Mishka: Robb Sheerman, Pali: Richard Blomfield, Franzi: Elizabeth Cullen, Vanya: Jayne Pike

Gypsies and Villagers: Sopranos: Margaret Baker, May Croaker, Elizabeth Cullen, Nola Cummins, Claire Dawson, Joyce Harrison, Ann Haydon, Heather Haywood, Noelene Marjoram, Jayne Pike, Sue McSpedden, Beryl Richardson, Judy Reece, Deidre Vickery, Altos: Nerida Curtis, Barbara Campbell, Elizabeth Macdonald, Jennifer Hayes, Helen Little, Frances O'Brien, Alison Stewart, Tenors: P Robertson, L Stocco, A Yarwood, J Little, R Blomfield, R Sheerman, Phillip Costa, Bernard Cannon, Basses: Michael Bryan, David Robins, Col Mulquiney, Geoff Burkhardt, Barry Wirrick, Ian Sinclair, Stan Hillard, Peter O'Neil


Violins: Lois Kesteven, Chris Bettle, Eunice Allingham, Colin Sholl, Kirsty Veron, Elfi Sturmer, Florence Brereton, Veronica Madeley, Viola: Margaret Cominos, Celli: Arpad Got, Elizabeth Lewis, Double Bass: Davydd Williams, Flute: Margaret Hawkins, Oboe: Evan Lewis, Clarinets: Jim Hawkins, Leo Atherton, French Horn: James Ridsdell-Smith, Trumpet: Pat Costigan, Tympani: Paul Johnstone, Piano: Betty McEachern


Stage Direction: Jim Graham
Musical Direction: Neville Meale
Stage Manager: Howard Wheaton
Lighting: Lew Payne
Costumes: Eleanor Galletly with Sylvia Pink, Clarice Faint
Properties: Nerida Curtis
Make-up: Aline Christenson
Programme Cover: Brian Coggan
Poster: Steve Langton
Publicity: Peg Leask, Judy Reece
Business Manager: Judy Reece
House Manager: John Greet
Photography: Frank Anderson, Geoff Kempster, Gretel Kempster
Stage Crew: Tony Marjoram, Beale Williams, Jim Edwards, Doug Lobban, Mandy Rich, Dot McDermott, John Wiseman, P Wheaton
Choreography: Pam Farley
Usherettes: Shirley Falconer, Pam McWatters, Margaret Khan, Bronwyn Sewell, Jeanette Pankhurst

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