Cover to 1953 Cast recordingLady Hamilton

Operetta in 3 acts: Music by Eduard Künneke, Libretto: Richard Bars & Leopold Jakobson

Schauspielhaus, Breslau, 25 September 1926; as The Song of the Sea; adaptation by Arthur Wimperis and Lauri Wylie; His Majesty's Theatre, London



The opening scene is set in a tavern in a seaside inn in England, around 1781, where a Lord and his companion show up and where a girl, Amy is singing a lusty drinking song. In that same inn the elderly Lord Hamilton and his friend, the painter George Romney, are staying for the night, together with Romney's mistress and model, Kitty. When Hamilton hears (and sees) Amy, he is smitten. He asks her to come to London with him, but Amy refuses. Instead, she is flirting with a Spanish naval officer called Don Alfredo Bartos, also staying at the inn. When a fight erupts and Alfredo saves Amy from being molested by sailors, she feels more than gratitude for him. He in turn is also smitten with her, serenading Amy with "Du hast Augen von denen man träumt". Meanwhile, Alfredo's friend, Lord Percy, is trying to arrange a rendezvous with Kitty, without arousing too much attention from her jealous lover, Romney. In an unhappy turn of events, Alfredo's stolen valet ends up with Amy and the Spanish officer thinks Amy only flirted with him to get his money. In a fury he departs, leaving the devastated Amy behind, who sends word after him, that all is a misunderstanding. In her frustration and desire to leave these simple tavern rooms for a more glamorous life, Amy accepts Hamilton's proposal to go to London with him, and on to the big wide world.

Act II takes place in Naples, where Hamilton is now British ambassador and Amy his mistress, who has to be kept hidden away for social reasons. He tells her he could never introduce her at court, where they are expecting the victorious Lord Nelson, because she is not his wife. Amy has a plan. She intends to show up at the reception as Lady Hamilton, leaving Lord Hamilton no other choice but to marry her as quickly as possible to avoid a scandal.

Amy's plan works when she makes a grand entrance at court. Hamilton rushes her off to a chapel that very night to wed her. However, the nuptial proceedings are disturbed by the news that Alfredo has been captured as a deserter (who left his ships to retum to Amy) and will be executed the next day. Amy, remembering that Alfredo once saved her in the tavern in England and decides she will help him now. She hides him in her bedroom. She discovers that her love for him has died and it is only gratitude she feels for him now. To save Alfredo, Amy goes to Lord Nelson (on her wedding night!) who is on his ship in the harbour. Upon seeing her, Nelson realises that she is the girl he saw years ago in a tavern and fell in love with - he has had her portrait hanging in his cabin ever since. He agrees to help. Amy rushes back home to her husband, tells Alfredo he is saved. The sailors hail her as "commandant d'honeur" of the fleet, a position that will lead, eventually. to the next episode in her life as mistress of Lord Nelson.


  • Amy Lyon
  • Don Alfredo Bartos
  • Lord Percy Harwich
  • George Romney
  • Kitty Grant
  • Sir William Hamilton
  • John Malifax Mary Ann
  • Jimmy
  • Lord Nelson French
  • Prince
  • Dancing Master
  • The Ghost

Musical Numbers

  1. Der Geist 
  2. Introduktion: Ahoi - alle Weiber (Chor, Halifax)
  3. Szene: Komm nur herein (Romney, Kitty)
  4. 2 Auftritt und Duett: Sonderbar, ich sah von rem (Percy, Alfredo)
  5. Chor und Auftritt: Länger warten wir nicht mehr (Chor, Amy)
  6. Szene und Duet!: Ich war ein Mädel (Amy. Alfredo)
  7. Du hast Augen, von denen man träumt (Amy, Alfredo)
  8. Terzett: In Öl und in Pastell (Kitty, Romney, Percy)
  9. Finale Act I: Halifax, Halifax, alter Bär (Chor, Halifax, Amy)
  10. Der kleinen Tänzerin (Amy, Chor, Mary Ann, Halifax, Alfredo, Percy, Kitty, Romney, Hamilton)
  11. Introduktion und Chor: Wie unvergleichlich! O, wie charmant! (Chor, Prinz, Der zweite Diplomat)
  12. Duett: Auf allen Reisen, hört man heut' preisen (Percy, Amy)
  13. Ensemble: Herr Attaché, Herr Attaché! (Chor, Percy. Edward. Hamilton)
  14. Excellenz, Excellenz Uns're tiefste Reverenz! (Chor, Percy. Prinz, Sambuco, Hamilton, Mary Ann)
  15. Stolz ist erschienen die Lady von Welt (Chor, Amy, Percy)
  16. Duett: Immer mußt ich an dich denken (Alfredo. Amy)
  17. Duel: Der Beppino trinkt gern Vino (Percy, Kitty)
  18. Finale Act 2: Mylady, wir müssen's gestehen (Chor, Amy, Romney, Percy, Kitty)
  19. Mylord! Oh, hören Sie mich, mein Gemahl (Amy, Hamilton, Alfredo, Percy, Chor)
  20. Duett: Täglich im Leid weint eine Maid (Kitty, Percy)
  21. Marsch-Ensemble: Englands großern Kapitän (Chor, Amy)