"Über die blauen Wogen"

Over the blue waves

Over the blue waves
on the ocean’s tides,
Most beautiful of Araby’s daughters
Tell me, will you come with me? Tell me!

If the ocean’s waves were boundless
and its tides never reached the coast
Araby’s daughter would sail on
with you, undaunted and unafraid.

Let’s go on board!
Let’s set sail, for the sky is clear
And the wind blows fair!
Our hearts are as true as our ship,
and bright with hope,
like sails in the sunshine!
Let’s go on board, for the sky is clear!
Let’s go on board, for the wind blows fair!
Let’s go on board!

The story of Oberon, or The Elf-King's Oath by Carl Maria von Weber is a convoluted one. It begins with a quarrel between Oberon, king of the fairies, and his queen, Titania, over who are less faithful, men or women. Oberon vows never to reconcile with his wife until a human couple is found who remain faithful in the most testing circumstances.
The hero, Huon of Bordeaux, has been ordered by Charlemagne to travel to Baghdad, kill the Caliph’s mightiest knight and wed his daughter. Oberon decides the knight and the princess will prove his case to Titania.
Through the agency of his servant, Puck, visions, a magic horn and many twists of fate, Huon and Reiza meet, fall in love, escape the caliph’s court, are shipwrecked, suffer abduction by pirates and are imprisoned by the Emir of Tunis. Huon escapes imminent execution (his squire blowing the magic horn) and rescues Rezia from the Emir’s harem. Their trials now over, the ever-faithful couple is transported to the palace of Charlemagne by Oberon and Titania.
This quartet is sung at the end of Act 2, when Huon and Rezia, together with Huon’s squire, Sherasmin, and Rezia’s maidservant, Fatima, sing of their love as they make their escape by ship from the Caliph’s court.

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