Hans Castorp, the leading man in the musical and the novel, is described in the ‘Synopsis’ post.

His cousin Joachim Ziemssen: Discipline and duty define Joachim. He is ‘old-fashioned’. He is a wounded warrior; beauty destined for tragedy in the St Sebastian mould. He engages the audience’s sympathy, singing ‘silver age of operetta’ music in a lyric tenor range. Even when the audience learns that he is anti-intellectual and anti-Semitic (a proto-Nazi?), they regret his failure to escape the effects of his TB. The iron grip of ‘up here’ is stronger than his fealty towards Kaiser and Country. His brief resurrection at the seance adds to his tragedy.

Claudia Chauchat: Claudia is ‘other’: she is East (Chechenya) , she is ‘free from all ties that fetter the soul’, she is woman (Sweet as a peach), and she is darkness (Claudia’s Tango). To Hans, she is ‘The Beauty of the Body‘ enhanced by inflammation. He hoards her chest X-ray, his momento of his ‘night of love’ as he did the shavings from Pribislav’s pencil many years before.

Settembrini: ‘A good man at heart’ is Hans’ summary of this enthusiastic purveyor of ‘The Light of Human Reason‘. Our sympathies are with Settembrini even as his humanism is trashed in ‘The Great Debates‘ by Naphta. Hans’ rejection of his ‘wholesome advice’ feels like a son spurning his father. Settembrini is the only character still in the story as war breaks out, but has he learnt anything?

Naphta: A creature of his ‘chequered history’: Jewish refugee, an outcast accepted by the Catholic church but thwarted in his ascent of the ecclesiastic ladder, but not entirely by his TB, Settembrini tells us. His adversarial passion (Deo gratias) is fired by an anger that leads to self-destruction. Having seen him as a threat as his religion-based nihilism apparently wins all the arguments, the audience is not sorry to witness the end result of his choler.

Doctor Behrens, Dr Krokowski and Matron von Mylendonck: ‘the infernal trio’, Settembrini calls them. Ostensibly they rule the Magic Mountain. Indeed in one scene they appear as wizards and a witch (‘Walpurgis Night). But we soon learn that they cannot be taken seriously (‘A woman once came here coughing‘), and indeed no-one does, not even dutiful Joachim. But despite their glaring deficiencies and weird ideas (‘Don’t be afraid of Freud‘), Hans ‘uses their services’ in his quest.

Frau Stohr: Coarse (‘Oh how I like to cough‘), gossipy and full of malapropisms, she is surprisingly alert to what is going on ‘up here’. Despite his repugnance, Hans uses her when he wants to know more about Claudia.

Pribislav Hippe: Hero-worshipped from afar by Hans in his school days, Pribislav is linked by his eyes, his drawing pencil and his effect on ‘Young Hans‘ to Claudia.

The Inmates at the Berghof TB sanatorium: It is quite plain that for them ‘life is to be enjoyed’, as Dr Krokowski enjoins them. The Magic Mountain affords them ample scope for hedonistic enjoyment (‘Eat, drink and be merry‘) while they pay lip service to the rules of life ‘up here‘. The contrast of this with the effect of the Mountain on Hans is one of the main themes of Mann’s story. They are id where he is superego, ego and id combined into a Nietschian superman. [Really?! And you can put that on the stage? Yes!!]

Tuberculosis: Not a character as such, TB provides a constant metaphor for the state of the human condition. TB or not TB? That is the question! You can choose to be destroyed by it (the inmates and most of the characters), or look it squarely in the face and rise above it, as Hans does. Or does he? ‘Where did it get you, we enquire?