The Red Mill

Music by Victor Herbert
Book and Lyrics by Henry Blossom

A new performing edition, edited by James Cooper, available for free download.

The Red Mill

Complete dialog revised and edited into a performing edition, available for free download or available bound from Score newly typeset.

bullet Download the complete score (pdf) (Version 0.96 )
bullet Order a bound copy from This score is beta edition 0.95. Please direct comments and corrections to Jim Cooper.
bulletListen to the songs from The Red Mill

Cast of characters

“Con” Kidder

} Two Americans “doing” Europe

“Kid” Conner


Burgomaster of Katwyk-aan-Zee


Sheriff of Katwyk-aan-Zee


Keeper of The Red Mill Inn

Capt Davis Van Damm

In love with Gretchen

Governor of Zealand

Engaged to Gretchen


The Burgomaster’s daughter


The Burgomaster’s sister


Barmaid at The Red Mill Inn, Willem’s daughter

Hon. Dudley Featherstonhaugh

(pronounced “Fanshaw”) Solicitor from London touring Holland by car with his daughters

Countess de la Pere

Touring Holland by car with her sons

Giselle and Brigitte Featherstonhaugh's daughters
Hans and Peter Countess's sons
Gaston Burgomaster's butler

Chorus of peasants, artists, burghers and other townspeople

Time: 1906

Place: Katwyk-aan-Zee

The Red Mill

The Red Mill was written to feature the comedy team of Montgomery and Stone, very popular comics of the 1900s. Librettist Henry Blossom assumed they would improvise around the material he wrote, although we have no record of what they actually did. However, the song “Good-a-Bye John” was probably part of their vaudeville act, as it is the one song in the show not written by Blossom and Herbert.

Gretchen, the Burgomaster's daughter, is to be wedded to the Governor of Zeeland pm Saturday, but she is in love with the dashing sailor Davis von Damm. When the Burgomaster hears of her plans to elope with him, he locks her in the Mill, but an hour later she has vanished.

The townspeople fear that the curse of the Mill has again taken a victim, but in fact, two Amercans have  helped her escape. The story resolves when the Governor of Zeeland confesses to Bertha, the Burgomaster's sister, that he actually wanted to marry her rahter than Gretchen, and in a bit of subterfuge, this is what takes place.

The Script

The only surviving script is a copy of the Prompt Book from when the show first went into rehearsal. At that time, not all of the songs had yet been written and the prompt book refers to several that never were written.

In addition, the libretto Blossom wrote is exceedingly long: more than enough material for two or three shows, and we assumed that cuts were made as the show developed during rehearsal, and some of the material was replaced by the comics’ own improvisations.

So in order to prepare a performing script, it was necessary to trim quite a few lines, while trying to preserve most of Herbert’s glorious music. In the process, we consolidated some characters, simplified some of the dialog and updated some old slang and jokes. We also changed the focus a bit from the two comedians to Tina and Gretchen. Nonetheless, this script represents Herbert’s and Blossom’s work in a way that is as close as possible what we think they intended.

Performing rights

This performing version is freely available and can be performed without payment of any royalties.

About Victor Herbert

Victor Herbert was born in Ireland and raised in Germany, training as a cellist and composer. He came to the US in 1886 to become the principal cellist for the Metropolitan Opera. Herbert composed 43 operettas,  two operas,  31 compositions for orchestra, nine band compositions, nine cello compositions, five violin compositions with piano or orchestra, 22 piano compositions and numerous songs, choral compositions and orchestrations of works by other composers.

The Red Mill was his first big success, making him both very famous and quite wealthy. Some of his other well-known operettas included Babes in Toyland, Naughty Marietta, Sweethearts, Eileen and Mlle Modiste.