Fairy-tale Opera in two Acts
There is a pillory on the main square of the country Pomadia's capital. Dani is put on the pillory tied out by the king's soldiers and even his clothes are taken off blamefully. He has to take the responsibility for his great guilt. He has infringed the first and single paragraph of the Criminal Laws: he mocked king Pomade's festival clothes. That is how it is in Pomadia, where the king spends all of his money on clothing, and thinks himself as if he were the best dressed and the most handsome man, so it is the most serious infringement. The fact, that the people are pressed under serious taxes and have neither new clothes no food, is not dealt by king Pomade. He is only interested in the newest fashion, while his court praises his more and more expensive clothes. Dani's punishment is exile. Despite the fact that the people are murmuring, and his mother crying Dani has to go. But he resolves at last that he will take revenge on king Pomade.
There was Béni, Dani's friend too in the crowd as well as his friend Dzsufi, the court fool, who have already decided to help Dani. When Dani walks on the road, they follow him and catch him. Dzsufi has a big box carried by the dancers, from which he pulls out a paper written on it. The writing is a passport of Bergengócian weavers, who want to surprise the kingiwith a magic gown. Dani and Béni changes their clothes and put on the clothes taken out of the chest, in the meantime they are showing off with their skills: the science of cheating and fraud. Disguised themselves, dressed as magic weavers set to the town.
There is big crowd in the market hall. The offer is high, the honey-cake maker sells the finest confectioneries, the pertzel maker woman offers pertzels, and still a lot more is sold here - though people do not have any money. The simple item that can be bought even by a lowpaid people is the cheap, meatless cabbage at the takeover stand. No other people than the king and his court can afford themselves to eat liver chops and other fine meals. The rich buy, the poor only look around with hungry stomach. Suddenly in the middle of a commotion two strangers appear- Dani and Béni - with a big chest. They call themselves weavers from Bergengócia. They say that the purpose of their arrival at Pomadia is certainly to celebrate the king with new clothes on his nameday and to earn some money. Because the single appreciated profession in Pomadia is that of the weavers'. Brick layers, woodcuters, bootmakers, carpenters are not well-to-do people. Not so the weavers! Gold, silver is not missing from their wallets. The folk observe the two "strangers" distrustfully because it is not great victory to favour the bad king. There is a patrol arriving: the king's soldiers. The captain cannot bear the mess, finds out what kind of strangers have come into the town. Magic weavers? The captain all of a sudden leads Dani and Béni to the king's palace.
Inside the mirror hall of the palace there are a lot of servants. His Majesty King Pomade I got up from his night rest and wants to get dressed. Garda Roberto royal dressmaker master has more and more beautiful clothes shown, and real modells are dancing wearing clothes of different countries. Nevertheless the king does not like any of them. He has already worn each of them. And what is worse the new nameday gown has not been ready yet. Garda Roberto, to gain time, orders breakfast for the king. King Pomade's seven course breakfast could be a lunch as well. For rising appetite musical instruments are accompanying each course. Flute to the rasin, oboa to violet peacock, clarinet to praline, fanfare to string of grape. After having eaten honey oat under sound of the harp the bassoon warns his Majesty not to swallow sour cherry grains. Seventhly double-bass growling to the pigweed. The royal drink is followed by a violin play, and king Pomade I has just got full. The dress rehearseal can go on. Will there be a suitable nameday gown? His Majesty does not like any of them. At last he becomes so sad that he orders to pull the mourning bell, and the whole country should mourn! The nameday festival march left out, because the king does not have anything to put on himself. Unexpectadly the sound of a fanfare can be heard, the captain reports: magic weavers from abroad want to have permission for entering and bringing gift to the king.
King Pomade in the throne-room surrounded by his courtiers accepts the two weavers. Nyársatnyelt Tóbiás, the twelve ministers and ladies cannot possibly lean, but the king is only interested in the weavers. Though Dani and Béni very bravely take out a big sack, which is full of marvellous, threads and say the purpose of their arrival. They arrived to weave nice textile and taylor a gown to his Majesty for his nameday. I wonder what could be more important? The court cannot possibly agree with this idea what could be more important? - King Pomade at last relieves, he will be able to put something on for the march. Happily he stiches awards onto the two weavers' breasts. - But what will the magic coat be like? Dani and Béni say: the magic power of the new dress is that, who is stubborn and stupid, and there is butter on his head or become to a high rank undeserved, can see nothing but air.The coat can be seen only by wise and clever men. Hearing this the whole court even the king frighten because everybody has something to hide. At last king Pomade calms himself by saying that he will surely see the magic coat, because whom the God has given office, is given mind as well.
At dawn in the king's bedroom his Majesty is turning in his bed. The cushion is too soft, even the chocolate does not taste. Of course because he saw a terrible dream at night. Ghosts frightened him, nightmare was sneaking on the wall, shades frightened and foretold him that he would not see the magic coat: his milky-honey empire will be caught by the jackdaw, loses his crown. King Pomade threatens in vain, he cannot imprison his nightmares. So as to be able to free himself of the dark thoughts, rings the servants and calls for the councellor Nyársaltelt Tóbiás. First he should see the coat and tell what it is like. Nyársatnyelt Tóbiás is in trouble now. Even the twelve ministers frighten from the fear and the cold at dawn! They have to go to the weaver's room to see the coat.
The councellor and the ministers are peeping into the weaver's room through key hole first from the corridor, wondering whether they can see something on the weaver's bench? Dani and Béla inside are working diligently, the machine kicking, the wheels are buzzing: tey are weaving the air. Then they cut and sew nothing to make the magic coat till morning. Nyársatnyelt Tóbiás wants to be polite with the ministers in vain, he has to enter first and see nothing. Certainly he frightens because anyhow tries to see, he can only see the air! - Might it be that I have no sense and I have not known this? - asks himself depressed. But loudly he does not dare to say it, rather does as if he were so surprised at the sight of the coat that he could not say a word. Dani and Béni adjusts the material on the dummy, what is the pattern of the air: velvet lotuses are being pecked by silk parrots. Nyársatnyelt Tóbiás eagerly agrees - what if truth reveals!The ministers are nodding their heads, because none of them dare to reveal that nothing can be seen. The councellor remembers everything and goes to report of it to the king. The ministers praise the tail, the mantle, the nothing, that dazzle them competing with each other. Finally king Pomade himself appears accompanied by Nyársatnyelt Tóbiás. He has a glance of the dummy, rubs his eye and - his mouth remains open. Surely nor he is exception, he also just can see the air! Nevertheles he is forced to try it on because he cannot reveal himself in front of his servants. He takes off his clothes behind the folding-screen and Dani and Béni dresses him up into the "new coat"". They cannot possibly praise him how well it suits his Majesty, who can hardly bear without a laugh, because his naked body is being tickled. - It is due to the cob-web like soft woven material - according to the weavers. - Neither a crinkle, nor a pleat! Let's start the nameday march!
On the main square there is a commotion of people who are waiting for the king. Soldiers block round the crowd, the cameramen take photos, flashes, even the television company is here. The long line of the court bootlickers appears, who proudly step ahead led by Nyársarnyelt Tóbiás.At least all the eyes are on the gate of the palace, the people wait excitedly for king Pomade's appearance. Everything reveals and king Pomade triumphantly steps outside on him his new coat: the air! Terrible silence, nobody dares to say a word. Then later a child shouts: there is nothing on the king!! -Woe betide you! - Now everybody says there is nothing on the king, and laugh at him. The court, king Pomade were willing to rush away but in vain because they are surrounded. Blamefully king Pomádé is standing on the pillory in front of his folk - without clothes!