The Stoned Guest was one of the first of P.D.Q. Bach's operatic forays to be "discovered" by American composer and scholar Peter Schickele. At the first performances in 1968, Schickele played the title role himself.
Cast of Characters
Donna Ribalda,a high-born lady of the lowlands,mezzanine-soprano
Carmen Ghia,a woman of ailing repute,off-coloratura
Don Octave,an itinerant nobleman,bargain counter tenor
Dog,a large, friendly St. Bernard dog,houndentenor
Il Commendatoreador,the stoned guest,basso blotto
As the opera begins, Donna Ribalda has escaped from an attempted abduction by fleeing into the forest, where she is now lost. There she meets Carmen Ghia, who got lost while chasing a man. When they hear someone coming, they decide that Donna Ribalda should disguise herself as a man.
Don Octave enters, and Donna Ribalda recognizes him as her abductor, but when he removes his mask, she also recognizes him as her brother. Don Octave admits that he tried to abduct her, and Carmen Ghia defends him. Eventually they realize that they are all still lost in the forest, and they are all cold, hungry, and bored.
They are overjoyed by the entrance of a large dog, but dismayed when they realize that its cask has been emptied by the Commendatoreador, who Carmen Ghia announces is her father. Donna Robalda and Carmen Ghia fight, and Donna Ribalda strangles her brother's paramour. In revenge, Don Octave tries to stab his sister but accidentally kills himself instead. The Commendatoreador then shoots Donna Ribalda before keeling over dead drunk.
The entire cast then jumps to their feet to sing a rousing finale in praise of dogs, booze, and happy endings.