The Fortune Teller is an operetta in three acts written by Victor Herbert, with a libretto by Harry B. Smith. After a brief tryout in Toronto, it premiered on Broadway on September 26, 1898 at Wallack’s Theatre and ran for 40 performances. It was revived on November 4, 1929 at Jolson’s 59th Street Theatre and ran for 16 performances.
Herbert wrote his sixth operetta for prima donna Alice Nielsen and her newly formed Alice Nielsen Opera Company. Nielsen having earned widespread praise in The Serenade, requested and received not one but three roles in The Fortune Teller. The story is set in Hungary and involves Irma, an heiress from Budapest, who is studying for the ballet. Irma is in love with a young Hussar captain but is being forced to marry the silly Count Barezowski. When a gypsy fortune teller, Musette, arrives, she is mistaken for Irma, a case of mistaken identity that fosters many complications.
Songs include the famous “Gypsy Love Song,” (‘Slumber on, my little gypsy sweetheart’) and “Romany Life.”
GYPSY LOVE SONG From the Broadway musical "The Fortune Teller" (1898) (Victor Herbert / Henry Bache Smith) William F. Hooley - 1899 Reinald Werrenrath - 1920 Chico Marx (feat. in the film "The Cocoanuts) - 1929 Bing Crosby & Frances Langford - 1938 Benny Goodman & His Orch. - 1939 Cab Calloway & His Orch. - 1945 Also recorded by: Connee Boswell with Bob Crosby & His Bob-Cats; Vaughn Monroe; Isley Brothers; Alfredo Campoli; Jerry Hadley; ..... and others. The birds of the forest are calling for thee And the shades and the glades are lonely Summer is there with her blossoms fair And you are absent only No bird That nests in the greenwood tree But sighs to greet you and kiss you All the violets yearn, yearn for your safe return But most of all I miss you Slumber on, my little gypsy sweetheart Dream of the field and the grove Can you hear me, hear me in that dreamland Where your fancies rove Slumber on, my little gypsy sweetheart Wild little woodland dove Can you hear the love song that tells you All my heart's true love The fawn that you tamed has a look in its eyes That doth say, "We are too long parted" Songs that are trolled by our comrades old Are not now as they were light hearted The wild rose fades in the leafy shades Its ghost will find you and haunt All the friends say come, come to your woodland home And most of all I want you