White Horse Inn is an enchanting operetta, which was written by Hanz Muller in 1930 with music by Ralph Benetazky and Robert Stolz. In its original German it is called "Im Weissen Rossl" , but was translated into English by Harry Graham.
The operetta was first shown at the Grosses Schauspielhaus, Berlin on the 8th November 1930. Its English premier was on the 8th April 1931 at the London Coliseum.
It is a singspiel (revue-operetta) in 3 acts, based on the play by the same name by Oscar Blumenthal and Gustav Kadelburg.
The story is laid in Austria around the White Horse Inn in early 1938.
The operetta is about relationships which form around the White Horse Inn in Austria. There have been a history of relationships between the head waiters of the White Horse Inn and the proprietor, Josepha Vogelhuber. However these were all short lived and ended up with the sacking of the head waiter. The knowledge of which scares the current Head waiter Leopold as he is madly in love with Josepha yet wants to keep his job. His love for her however is unrequited as Josepha is in love with Valentine Sutton, a lawyer from England who makes annual trips to the White Horse Inn.
Sutton arrives at the White Horse Inn with other characters who are to inhabit the White Horse Inn with him. There is John Ebenezer Grinkle and his daughter Ottoline. Grinkle is an underwear manufacturer from Oldham who is loud and proud of his heritage. By all accounts a comic character. The elderly Professor Hinzel and his lisping daughter Gretel come along as well for a holiday. The final person to come at this time is Sigismund Smith, who is an underwear muanufacturer.
Comic narration of events is supplied by Karl, the “piccolo” waiter of the White Horse Inn.
Subplots then begin to bloom as Sigismund and Gretel fall in love, Sutton and Ottoline fall in love, and Grinkle discovers that Sigismund Smith is actually his hated business rival in the underwear business. This leads to a funny scene in which Grinkle and Sigismund discuss the pros and cons of ‘button up the front underpants’.
Leopold is so upset with Josepha’s spurning of his love that he threatens to resign and join the foreign legion.
The Emporer’s arrival looks like it will just cause more bother around the White Horse Inn, but when Josepha has a private chat with him everything seems to make sense.
So Josepha declares her love for Leopold, Sutton and Ottoline declare their love, as does Sigismund and Gretel. The end of the operetta is with the characters raising a glass to the happy life which is in store for them. The much anticipated happy ending.
Characters (In order of appearance):
Kathi, a yodelling postwoman.
Karl, "piccalo" waiter at the White Horse Inn.
Zenzi, a goatherd.
Leopold, head waiter at the White Horse Inn.
Josepha Vogelhuber, owner of the White Horse Inn.
John Ebenezer Grinkle, an underwear manufacturer from Oldham.
Ottoline, Grinkle's daughter.
Sigismund Smith, another underwear manufacturer.
Professor Hinzel, a professor.
Gretel, Hinzel's daughter.
The Mayor's lady secretary.
1) Introduction (Kathi, Quartet and Chorus)
2) Entrance of Tourists (Leopold and Chorus)
3) It Would Be Wonderful (Josepha, Leopold and Girls)
4) Arrival of Guests (Chorus)
5) The White Horse Inn (Sutton, Josepha and Chorus)
6) Happy Cows (Girls)
7) Your Eyes (Ottoline and Sutton)
9) You Too (Ottoline and Sutton)
10)Goodbye (Leopold and Men)
11)Saltzkammengut (Josepha, Grinkle and Chorus)
12)Sigismund (Sigismund and Girls)
13)Fairies (Sigismund and Gretel)
14)Side by Side (Chorus)
16)My philosophy (Emporer and Josepha)
17)Thw White Horse Inn-reprise (Leopold and Chorus)
18)My Song of Love (Sutton, Ottoline and Chorus)