Opera Scotland

Drei Pintos Die Drei Pintos; The Three Pintos

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Carl Maria von Weber (born Eutin, 18 November 1786; died London, 5 June 1826)

Completed by Gustav Mahler (born Kalište, 7 July 1860; died Vienna, 18 May 1911).


Theodor Hell


Story Der Brautkampf (1819) by Carl Seidel.



First performance: Leipzig (Neues Stadttheater), 20 January 1888.

First UK performance: London (John Lewis Theatre), 10 April 1962.

First performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (Usher Hall), 25 August 1976 (concert).

Scottish Opera première: N/A.



Die drei Pintos is a strange hybrid comedy which Weber worked on after the success of Der Freischütz in 1821. He abandoned it when the opportunity arose to compose Euryanthe for Vienna. After his death, the sketches passed to Meyerbeer, who hung on to them for twenty years before returning them to the family. Several decades later, Mahler picked up the manuscript and, in conjunction with the composer’s grandson, adapted it, and using other music by Weber, as well as composing some new music himself, prepared a performing version which is thoroughly enjoyable, though hardly a masterpiece.



Don Gaston Viratos, a former student of Salamanca (tenor)

Ambrosio, Don Gaston’s servant (baritone)

Innkeeper (bass)

Ines, the innkeeper’s daughter (soprano)

Don Pinto de Fonseca, a foolish country squire (bass)

Donna Clarissa, Don Pantaleone’s daughter, in love with Gomez (soprano)

Laura, Clarissa’s maid (soprano)

Don Gomez de Freiros, an aristocrat of Madrid (tenor)

Don Pantaleone Roiz de Pacheco, an aristocrat of Madrid (baritone)

Major-domo in Don Pantaleone’s household (tenor)


Plot Summary

Don Gaston is about to leave Salamanca to take up a post in Madrid. Don Pinto is betrothed to Clarissa, but has never met her or her father, who was a friend of his own father. Travelling to Madrid for the wedding, he is waylaid by Don Gaston. With the help of Ambrosio, Gaston tries to teach Pinto the art of courting a woman, but he is slow-witted and a hopeless student, so they make him drunk and put him to bed to sleep off his excesses. They then take his papers. Gaston decides to impersonate Don Pinto and they set off for Madrid. When Pantaleone announces Clarissa’s imminent marriage there is general rejoicing except for Clarissa and her maid. Clarissa is in love with Don Gomez, and Laura has been arranging their secret meetings. Ambrosio meets and gets on well with Laura. Gomez meets Gaston, and believing him to be the real Pinto, explains the situation. Narrowly avoiding a duel, Gaston passes on the Pinto papers, so Gomez now becomes a third Pinto. Eventually Don Pinto arrives and reveals himself, but no one believes his claims to be the real thing, and Don Pantaleone has him thrown out. The way is left open for Clarissa’s marriage to Gomez, and everyone is happy.

The Cast

 Don Gaston's servant
Don Gaston Viratos
 a former student of Salamanca
Don Gomez de Freiros
 an aristocrat of Madrid
Don Pantaleone Roiz de Pacheco
 an aristocrat of Madrid
Don Pinto de Fonseca
 a foolish country squire
Donna Clarissa
 Don Pantaleone's daughter
 the innkeeper's daughter
 Clarissa's maid

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