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Der Barbier von Bagdad Synopsis

The Barber of Baghdad


ACT I
Nureddin is in love with Margiana, the daughter of the cadi. Botsana, a relative of the cadi and Nureddin's friend, tells him that Margiana has agreed to meet him at noon. She suggests he smarten himself up, and recommends a barber, Abul Hassan. The barber arrives but is more interested in telling endless stories than in shaving Nureddin. On hearing that Margiana is the
daughter of his enemy the cadi (who shaves himself!), Abul offers to accompany Nureddin to his assignation. Nureddin only manages to give him the slip by telling his servants that the barber is ill. They cover him in blankets, and Nureddin makes his getaway.

ACT II
Margiana is waiting for Nureddin, when her father tells her that his friend Selim has offered a chest of gold in return for Margiana's hand. As the cadi leaves, Nureddin arrives and declares his love. Abul Hassan, who has escaped the blankets, hears the cries of a slave who is being beaten by the cadi for breaking a vase. Assuming it is Nureddin, he breaks in.
Meanwhile, in response to the cadi's return, Margiana empties the treasure chest and uses it to hide Nureddin. Abul thinks the chest contains the corpse of his new friend and is a bout to take it away when the cadi bursts in and demands to know why the barber is stealing his treasure.
Confusion reigns until the caliph arrives and orders the chest to be opened, thus revealing Nureddin.
Order is restored, the lovers are united, and the caliph arrests the barber - in order to hear some of his stories.