F I R S T A C T
First Scene: A Party at Manottes Atelier
A big loft shortly after sundown, through the open windows one can see the shadows of trees, flowers bloom on a balcony, in the center of the room there is a big canvas covered with white linnen.
Manotte, the painter, is announcing to the gathered audience, that this is the last painting he ever has created - this is his masterpiece. Jonathan Harker, a young english Lord in his twenties and Dr. van Helsing, a well-known professor in his thirties, both good-looking and well-dressed men, join the party. The crowd does not only celebrate the forthcoming bidding, but also themselves and the life of parisian upperclass.
Paris ist ein rauschendes Fest/Paris is a glamorous party each night
Suddenly, this "Dance of the Champagne-glasses" is interrupted by an old woman. She claims, that the painting is cursed. Whoever will reveal the portrait will undergo an unholy spell. Just for a moment the crowd seems irritated, but then a furious bidding begins. At the end of the bidding Harker "beats" a dark figure, who stands in the corner of the room.
Die Versteigerung/The bidding
Manotte reveals the painting - it is a portrait of Mina, a beautiful girl from a noble family. Harker is more than fascinated by the portrait. Noticing that, Van Helsing, who for everybody seems to be a fatherly friend to Harker, is very dissapointed and tries to distract Harker from his thoughts. They leave the party, while the crowd cheers in a big final waltz.
Second Scene: The empty loft
Duett/Duet: Wer ist dies, ich muß sie seh’n / Who is she, I need to know
Third Scene: A dark suburban street
A very "gothic" scene set in some dark district. Houses and walls made of dark brick, built extremly high so no roof can be seen. Gaslight, an inn, a black carriage rushing by and picking up one of the prostitutes; drunkards, pimps, beggars, sailors, the old woman.
Dracula reveals his loneliness to the audience. He is not just the brutal vampire, he is an undead with feelings and needs. His biggest wish is that of having a child - long time ago, an old woman (!) had
predicted, that in the midsummernight before the turn of each century, for one hour he will become human. If he is able to find a woman, who really loves him, they can have a child. Then at least a part of him will be human.
Diese Stadt ist nachts mein Grab / At night, this town seems a grave to me
Fourth Scene: At Minas Home
The living-room of a well-kept and richly equipped parisian home. Two chandeliers lighten the room, a chaiselongue near the right wall. Again, big , open windows show: it is summer, late afternoon.
Servants wait to waitor the guests, who are joined in conversation: Mina, her father and mother, Van Helsing, the old woman (as an upper-class dame), and other people. Harker enters the scene, proudly presenting the portrait. He kneels down in front of the lightly blushing Mina and hands her the portrait as a gift and a symbol of his admiration
Quintett/Quintet: Dein Bild ist in meinem Herzen / Your picture is part of my heart
Van Helsing can’t keep his contenance and so partly reveals to some of the guests a possible reason for the friendship between him and Harker. He then tries to restore his "image" with chasing two maids around the chaiselongue and playing a funny persiflage on Casanova for the guests.
A servant calls the arrival of count Dracula. The guests are thrilled: all Paris talks of this man, who is said to be fascinating more than anyone else. Dracula arrives with a more than beautyful woman - Lucy, Minas best frined. Yet, in their behaviour amongst each other there seems to be a more deeper and stronger relationship, almost that of two lovers. Mina is fascinated by Dracula, Harker by Lucy. Both Mina and Harker, as the guests too, fall in a trance-like agonie and wake up , as Dracula and Lucy leave the house. None of them can remember, what had happened. Mina excuses herself to be tired and goes off to her room.
Quartett/Quartet: Die Schleier der Nacht lassen die Herzen erwachen / The veils of the night awaken the hearts // Reprise "Paris...
Fifth Scene: Minas Bedroom / A Street / A Gypsies Trailer / A Graveyard
Minas Bedroom - the bedroom of a girl growing into a woman: the bed draped with rosy silk, a white cushion. In one corner the accessoires of a young woman such as combs, powder, make-up, a beautiful ball-gown, in the other corner the reminders of her childhood: puppets, a dolls-house etc.
Mina goes to sleep. Dracula appears through the window and approaches Mina in a way, that makes everyone believe, he will "seduce" her in the "usual" way. But instead, he takes her onto a
journey through the night.
Zigeunertanz / Dance of the Gypsies
The whole stage changes into a graveyard, which seems to be endless. The set is intended to be very stylish, like in the gothic horror-movies. But yet, with its burning candles and the moon shining onto it, it
should have an almost friendly athmosphere. At the end of the scene, the whole stage again changes into Minas Bedroom - as if everything had been a dream.
Sixth Scene: The library at Dr. van Helsings House / A lake
The library is a very intimate room: the walls are coverd with books, it is lit with a single lamp, maybe a fireplace with a fire burning, a comfortable leather-armchair.
Harker and van Helsing are joined in a conversation. Harker vividly tells about the party and about Mina. Van Helsing listenes attentivly - he does not want to loose his young friend through a wrong remark. Harker suddenly begins to remember, what happened at the party. He tells van Herlsing about a dream, he had had that night: Mina and a dark figure had wandered through the darkness, meeting Gypsies and visiting a graveyard. The old woman appears as a housekeeper and serves tea. She listenes a while, then, without a word, goes to one of the bookshelves, and hands an old book to van Helsing. In a flash, van Helsing understands the dream and warns Harker with the words "You wouldn’t see the evil in a mirror".Harker laughs at this warning, van Helsing tries hard, but in vain, to open harkers eyes to the truth. Harker understands van Helsings efforts more as an attempt to seperate him from Mina and reveals his knowledge about van Helsings secret life.
Duett/Duet: Das Böse sieht man nicht im Spiegel / You would not see the evil in a mirror
The stage is divided into two sets: The library rolls to one side of the stage (or lifts up over it) and reveals a romantic landscape with a little river, dividing the landscape in the middle. On the far end, there is a bridge. Night.
Harker has run off. Van Helsing is ending the scene with a big solo, in which he states once more his love and affection for Harker, but claims his love to be a fatherly love, which cares about the future of his
Duett/Duet: Nicht nur ein Bildnis sollst Du sein / Be more than just a portrait to me
Sextett/Sextet: Das Böse.../Nicht nur.../You would not.../Be more...
E N D O F A C T O N E
S E C O N D A C T
One Year later
Seventh Scene: Draculas Castle in England / Paris
The dining-room of Draculas Castle. A huge table is set parallel to the audience, in front of a big wall with two windows, which reach from the floor to the top. Between the windows, the portrait of Mina, but somehow strange-looking, as if we would be seeing it from the back side - it is mirrored.
Dracula, Lucy, Mina and her child in the cradle are joined around the table. Dracula warmly cares aboutb the child. Suddenly, he notices a strange alteration in the picture. He forces Mina to join him leaving the room. Lucy watches the picture: It almostbecomes transparent, and like through a window, she can see Harker, who is sadly watching the portrait - she looks "through a window of time and space". Harker has become a bitter man. He cannot stand the pain of the loss and the thought, that Mina herself had become a vampire. The only reminder of her is the portrait. He keeps it with a mixture of hate and love.
Dies Bildnis ist mein Fluch / This portrait is my curse
Lucy uses all her powers to step through this now open "corridor of despair": the stage turns (or the walls become transparent) and the audience can see Harkers room. Lucy convinces Harker of the only solution: if he himself becomes a vampire, Mina and him could be together for eternity. Her conviction is so enormous, that Harker does not see the plan behind this - Lucy plans a revenge for the betrayal of her brother and wants to create an even enemy for Dracula.
Duett/Duet: Die Schleier der Nacht werden Euch auf ewig umfangen / The veils of the night will be Your guards forever
Eighth Scene: A Country Inn
The typical interior of a country inn. Evening
In the little english village at the foot of Draculas Castle fear is the talk of the moment. Sheep have been ripped by wild animals, people hear a strange howling at night, a newborn child has dissapeared overnight, its underwear has been found in the moor. The old woman states, that the "Unspeakable" has returned after onehundred years.
Auf diesen Nächten liegt ein Fluch / From now on our nights are cursed
Ninth Scene: Draculas Castle
Mina sings her child to sleep. She realizes the secret behind this birth: Once within a hundred years, Dracula becomes human for one hour and can have a child - if he finds a woman, that loves him the way he is. The child now stands for a part of Dracula, that has become human.
Ein Kind war niemals ihm vergönnt / He never could have had a child
Dracula listenes to the tenderness of Minas words and realizes, what she had done for him. Stating the thought "Life starts, where love is", he describes not only the fullfillment of the old prediction, but also the hope, that his curse may someday been taken away from him totally - if he could love Mina from the depth of his heart.
Wo Liebe ist, beginnt das Leben / Life starts, where love is
Tenth Scene: At the Inn / Inside Draculas Castle / A carriage / In Paris
This Scene is a combination of different times and places, sometimes playing parallel, sometimes alternating.
The innkeeper is afraid to be damned forever.
The old woman and Minas parents are afraid, that Mina could be damned forever, later on, it changes into a curse on Dracula.
Van Helsing blames himself of not being convincing enough to Harker.
Mina and Harker realize, that the only way to stay together is, if Mina is willing to take the burden of being cursed forever.
Lucy is triumphant, because Harker is damned to fight forever against her brother.
Dracula also is triumphant, because he is damned forever, but his wish for life is fullfilled through the child.
Verdammt in alle Ewigkeit / Damned for all eternity
Eleventh Scene: Outside of Draculas castle
A big wooden door in the center of the scenery, at one side of the stage another oper door, which leeds to a road downhill. Shortly before sunrise.
Der Morgen der Rache ist nah / The dawn of revenge has begun
With fire and the holy sacraments, the people of the village chase the creatures of the night into the open. Lucy is led away and burnt. Mina and Harker are led to the center of the stage, van Helsing believes them to be saved. But he notices, that they are afraid of the holy sacraments and has to realize, that they are lost, too. Both Mina and Harker express their last wish: being once again baptised by him, knowing, that this means death to them but revelation, too. Van Helsing tremblingly fulfills this last wish. He then turns to Dracula, filled with hate for the creature, that has taken from him is one and only - though unfulfilled - love. He wants to kill Dracula with a wooden stick, when the old woman for the last time appears in a gleaming light. She tells van Helsing, that she once nurished Dracula, before the spell was cast on him. She had guarded him ever since until the time, the prediction - the one of being father of a child - was fulfilled. She begs van Helsing to listen to the last words of Dracula.
Reprise: Verdammt in alle Ewigkeit / Damned for all eternity
Dracula has a last wish, which he expresses in a manner, in which he has never spoken before except when he was listening to Minas lullyby: he wantsvan Helsing to care for the child after, for a last time, he had cradled his child in his arms and watched the sun rise....
Reprise: Wo Liebe ist, beginnt das Leben / Life starts, where love is
T H E E N D