The Haunted Mansion
(opera in 4 acts with prologue)
Libretto written by Jan Checinski
It is getting dark. In the ruins of the old inn the hussars are celebrating the end of the campaign. Young knights, brothers Stefan and Zbigniew, swear to remain single in order to be ready to defend their Motherland when needed.
Brothers’ family home. All the households meet Stefan and Zbigniew. A widow Czesnikowa, brothers’ aunt, decides to propose her friend’s daughters as wives for them. However she worries about brothers’ decision to visit an old friend of their father who has two pretty daughters, Hanna and Jadwiga. She says that Mecznik’s castle is damned and is haunted. Nevertheless the young men decide to spend New Year Eve there.
Miecznik mansion. The New Year Eve. The girls tell their fortune; they want to see their future husbands. Damazy, who loves Hanna, proposes marriage to her. Hanna says that she will agree if such is her destiny. Miecznik wants the fiancées of his daughters to be honest, brave and devoted to their Motherland. Czesnikowa arrives in advance of Stefan and Zbigniew. She gossips and claims that the brothers are cowards. Miecznik, who used to be acquainted with their father, does not believe that. Damazy is happy. Hanna and Jadwiga decide to make fun of brothers. Stefan and Zbigniew come accompanied by their servant Maciej. After seeing how tough his opponents are Damazy decides to make the brothers to leave the castle. He asks housekeeper Skoluba for help. The latter agrees just to spite Maciej.
Hanna and Jadwiga hide behind the portraits of their grandmothers; Damazy hides in the clock. Skoluba and Maciej enter. Skoluba tells Maciej about horrible ghosts in the castle. Stefan and Zbigniew suspect mockery and decide to find “the ghosts”. Stefan hopes to meet Hanna, and Zbigniew expects to meet Jadwiga. All of the sudden Maciej notices Damazy and calls brothers to catch “the ghost”. But Damazy has a cunning plan. He convinces the brothers that Miecznik’s castle is damned and that it is built on the blood and tears of the people killed by the owner. Having believed that, Stefan and Zbigniew decide to leave the mansion.
Damazy spreads gossips that brothers leave castle for fear. Maciej protecting Stefan and Zbigniew from accusation tells Miecznik about the night adventure. The landlord does not believe that the brothers are leaving because of Damazy’s tricks. He orders to find Damazy. Joyful crowd returns after holiday sledge ride. Guests drink mead and Miecznik tells them about unacceptable conduct of Damazy. Breaking their oath Stefan and Zbigniew ask Miecznik for his daughters’ hands in marriage. Happy Miecznik agrees and tells his family legend. He says that one of his ancestors had nine beautiful daughters who got married happily. Jealous neighbours decided that evil spirits helped them and named the castle “The haunted mansion”. Stefan and Zbigniew swear to love their fiancés forever. The guests sing and dance.