The Fairy Doll Music Ballet by Joseph Bayer
One-act ballet extravaganza (two paintings)
Libretto by Joseph Hasreiter and Franz Howl
Choreography and directing - Prof. Hikmet Mehmedov
Set design - Ivan Savov
Assistant to the seller
A Tyrol boy and Tyrol girl
A Spanish boy and a Spanish girl
A Chinese boy and a Chinese girl
A Japanese girl
The idea of writing a puppet ballet was by Joseph Hasreiter, a longtime dancer and ballet master at Hofoper. Hasreiter wrote the libretto with Franz Howl and offered it to composer Josef Bayer, the conductor of the theater. The libretto is a style of popular ballet divertimento. Its plotline has almost no dramatic development, but it does allow for the insertion of a variety of types and character dances. Josef Bayer has already had enough experience to grasp at once how much libretto offers for a pleasant, fun and spectacular ballet. He embraces the idea and, in a very short time, writes accessible, eminently danceable music, sparkling with cheer. A joke master - in music and in life, the composer comments on the creative result thus: "I gave a yoke to both the rider (Harzreiter) and the horse (Haul)."
The "Doll Fairy" was placed in many European theaters shortly after it was written. Since its creation, other ballet works with puppet characters have begun - even Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker". The ballet has been reworked several times, and even Leonid Myasin, the ballet master of Diaghilev's Ballet, replaced the original music with that of "The Magic Shop" by Rossini. However, this turns out to be a change for the good as this version is much more favorable to the choreographers; through this substitution, it moves beyond the Viennese waltz, which is the basis of Bayer music. Later variations added other works by Rossini, the most popular being Tarantella. Of course, in many cases, it was inserted in its original version.
In Bulgaria, the "Puppet Fairy" was played for the first time in its original form on January 15, 1941, at the Sofia National Opera. The choreography is the work of Anastas Petrov, the artists are Alexander Milenkov and Preslav Karshovski, the conductor is Atanas Margaritov. On stage, the audience sees Lilyana Topalova as the Puppet Fairy herself, Lily Beron as Baby, and Zhivko Biserov as Harlequin.
As the puppet master and his assistant arrange the puppets in the shop, the postman who has come to fetch a letter accidentally touches a doll. What's his surprise when ... the doll moves and starts dancing!
A girl enters the store, choking on her spoiled doll. The master takes it for repair. After the girl arrives at the workshop with a family from the village with their many children. They are enchanted by the marvelous dolls but are unable to afford to buy one and leave. Afterward, a wealthy English family visits the doll master - they want to buy dancing dolls. The seller shows, but unfortunately, the doll cannot start its dance - its mechanism is probably damaged. Enraged, customers head for the exit, but the seller begs them to stay. The assistant comes to the aid of his master and shows a doll with which he picks up a wonderful dance. The young man is attracted to him by the other dolls. Each dances their own dance - tarantella, Spanish dance, Chinese, Japanese, etc. Finally, it is the masterpiece of the master - the Doll Fairy. She plays a frantic waltz that elicits admiration from the English family. They buy a beautiful doll for their children and leave. The seller closes the shop late in the evening.
At nightfall, the Magician arrives at the store. According to him, the dolls begin to dance. The dancing ends with a big Viennese waltz, starring the Doll Fairy.