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The success of The Birds and of the Te Deum inspired Braunfels to embark upon another large-scale composition, the opera Don Gil of the Green Trousers. The libretto is based on a comedy by Tirso de Molina in the German translation by August L. Mayer and Johannes von Guenther which was published in Munich in 1918.
Several of de Molina’s plays focus on intelligent and clever women who put their fickle men to shame, induce them to repent and return home. In Don Gil it is Dona Juana who exposes her unfaithful fiancé in a rather turbulent plot which culminates in four figures dressed in green trousers confronting one another, not knowing who is hidden behind their masks.
The first (concert) performance after 1945 took place in Munich in 2007, with David Stahl conducting the ensemble of the Gärtnerplatztheater.