The New Moon


A Romantic Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 12 Scenes. Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, Frank Mandel and Laurence Schwab : Music by Sigmund Romberg

Imperial Theatre, Broadway - September 19, 1928 (519 perfs)Theatre Royal, Drury Lane - 4 April, 1929

This is vintage Romberg, The Desert Song (1924), Student Prince (1925), The New Moon; no other composer produced three in a row like this, of such quality and with such success. Perhaps The New Moon is his most impressive, for in the production at Drury Lane the composer called for 50 chorus men, 40 chorus ladies and 20 or more principals!

The Story

(1792 - 3 in New Orleans and the Caribbean)

Robert is a young French aristocrat whose revolutionary inclinations force him to flee his country. He sells himself as a bond-servant to planter and ship owner Monsieur Beaunoir and his family in New Orleans.

As the police of Paris are looking everywhere for him, Robert cannot tell Beaunoir or his beautiful daughter Marianne whom he has fallen in love with, that he is of noble blood. Eventually he is tracked down by Vicomte Ribaud, the detective villain, and put aboard The New Moon so that he can be deported back to France. Robert thinks he has been betrayed by Marianne, who has gained her father's consent to travel on the same ship, pretending she is in love with Captain Duval.

There is a mutiny but Robert takes charge and the bond-servants come into power. Everyone goes ashore on the Isle of Pines and a new republic is founded which flourishes under Robert's guidance. But Marianne, her pride hurt, at first refuses to marry Robert. Then Vicomte Ribaud makes a final attempt to conquer the island for the King of France. He is surprised to hear from the French Commander that there has been a revolution in France, and that all aristocrats like himself must die unless they renounce their titles. While he, ever the Royalist, goes to his inevitable doom, there follows a happy reunion for Citizen Robert and Citizeness Marianne.


(plus Chorus)

Cast {in order of appearance}:

  • Julie, Marianne's Maid (soprano)
  • Monsieur Beaunoir, a Ship Owner of New Orleans
  • Captain Paul Duval, Commander of The New Moon
  • Vicomte Ribaud
  • Robert (Misson), a Bondservant of Beaunoir (tenor)
  • Alexander, another Bondservant (baritone)
  • Besac; Boatswain of The New Moon (baritone) 
  • Jacques, a Ship's Carpenter
  • Marianne, Beaunoir's Daughter (soprano)
  • Philippe, a Friend of Robert (tenor)
  • Clotilde Lambaste, of the Bride Ship (soprano)
  • Proprietor of the Tavern
  • Flower Girl
  • A Spaniard
  • A Dancer
  • Fouchette
  • The Dancers Rosita and Ramon
  • Musical Trio
  • Captain Dejean
  • Courtiers, Ladies, Pirates, Servants, Sailors, Pirates, etc.

    Musical Numbers
  • Opening ("Dainty Wisp of a Thistledown") - Ensemble
  • Marianne - Robert
  • The Girl on the Prow - Marianne, Ensemble
  • Gorgeous Alexander - Julie, Alexander, Girls
  • An Interrupted Love Song - Paul Duval, Marianne, Robert
  • Tavern Song (Red Wine) - Flower Girl, Dancer, Ensemble
  • Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise - Philipe, Ensemble
  • Stouthearted Men (Liberty Song) - Robert, Philipe, Men
  • Tango (Fair Rosita) - (Girls), Danced by Rosita, Ramon
  • One Kiss - Marianne, Ensemble
  • Ladies of the Jury (The Trial) - Alexander, Julie, Clotilde Lambaste, Girls
  • Wanting You - Marianne, Robert
  • Finale Act I - Ensemble
  • Opening Act II (A Chanty) - Besac, Men
  • Funny Little Sailor Man - Clotilde Lambaste, Besac, Ensemble
  • Lover, Corne Back to Me - Marianne
  • Finaletto - Marianne, Robert, Philipe, Men Scene 2
  • Love Is Quite a Simple Thing - Clotilde Lambaste, Besac, Alexander, Julie
  • Try Her Out at Dancing - Alexander, Julie, Girls
  • Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise - Philipe, Men
  • Never (for You) - Marianne
  • Lover, Come Back to Me (reprise) - Robert, Men
  • Finaletto - Marianne, Robert
  • Finale - Company
  • Instrumentation

    (Total number of books = 16)

    2 Violins 11 Violin II1 Viola1 Cello1 Double Bass1 Flute1 Oboe1 Clarinets I/II1 Bassoon1 Horns I/II1 Trumpets I/II1 Trombones I/II1 Percussion1 Harp1 Conductor Scores - annotated vocal score

    Libretto and Vocal Score on Sale

    Scenes and Settings ACT 1
  • Scene 1: Grand Salon of Monsieur Beaunoir's Mansion near New Orleans.
  • Scene 2: Entrance to Chez Creole.
  • Scene 3: Interior of Chez Creole.
  • Scene 4: Entrance to Chez Creole.
  • Scene 5: Grand Salon of Monsieur Beaunoir's Mansion. Evening, 1788.
  • ACT 2
  • Scene 1: The Deck of The New Moon. Late afternoon, three days later.
  • Scene 2: The Road from the Beach, two days later.
  • Scene 3: The Stockade, one year later.
  • Scene 4: The Road from the Beach, that evening.
  • Scene 5: Marianne's Cabin, that night.
  • Scene 6: The Road from the Beach. Midnight.
  • Scene 7: The Stockade. Daylight, next morning.
  • Notes:

    It should be emphasised that this is a stupendous task for any Society to undertake, needing first-class singers and a dozen good actors: most satisfying if artists and facilities are available but disastrous if tackled half-heartedly. A young soprano should play the feminine lead, two soprano-soubrettes the supporting leads, and a manly tenor or high baritone is required for the hero. The second male singing lead has exacting tenor solos but neither he nor the other singing principals are of any specified age group. There is an excellent part for a comedian and great acting opportunities for the detective villain.

    The play is as full of action as it is of music. Costuming is colourful in the period of 1792 and although the settings are complicated and heavy, a competent producer can make light of the apparent intricacies. There is not a great deal of work for the choreographer.