Music : Frank Nimsgern
Book : Tilmann von Blomberg
Lyrics: Alexander Kuchinka
World premiere: Dresden Staatsoperette April 2019
England at the beginning of the 18th century. The orphan boy Gwynplaine roams the country's fairs as a juggler. The public celebrates him as "The Man with the Laugh", because his face is distorted into a horrible permanent grin. But one day it turns out that Gwynplaine is the missing son of a highly honored lord and heir to an immense fortune. Without transition, the penniless fairground freak finds himself in the glittering world of the English aristocracy. Intoxicated by luxury and blinded by power, he only slowly realizes that things are not as they seem...
After "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" and "The Wretched", Victor Hugo created another historical novel in 1869 with "The Man with the Laugh", whose protagonist is a man beaten by fate and outcast by society. With its moving characters, great folk scenes, a multitude of intrigues and entanglements as well as a touching love story, it offers everything a breathtaking musical needs. Composer Frank Nimsgern ("Tatort", "Der Ring", "SnoWhite", "Qi", "Elements", ARD Television Award winner) and authors Tilmann von Blomberg and Alexander Kuchinka have adapted the monumental work exclusively for the Dresden State Operetta and created a dramatic-opulent musical.