by Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
   Premiered 1776. The baroness of the title in this somewhat lugubrious tragedy deeply regrets the loss of her husband Fernando, who deserted her three years earlier. She shares her emotions with Cäcilie, whose husband likewise left her, though some time ago. Meanwhile in the dining room of the small hotel where the women meet, Cäcilie's daughter Lucie is charmed by a man she has met at dinner. He proves to be her long-lost father and the erstwhile husband of both Cäcilie and Stella. Fernando proposes a reconciliation with Stella, but then he prepares to depart with Cäcilie, causing enormous grief to Stella. Cäcilie suggests a ménagée à trois, and Stella at first seems to accept it but then changes her mind and swallows poison. Fernando, in the meantime, changes his mind, too, and desires a return to Stella; when he finds her dying of the poison, he exits and an offstage pistol shot is heard. Cäcilie attempts to revive Stella, while Lucie reports that Fernando lies outside in a pool of blood. Stella, with her dying breath, begs Cä-cilie and Lucie to comfort and care for Fernando.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

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