Love in a Time of Tuberculosis

A musical in 3 acts

Book, lyrics and music by

Tony Westwood

Based on ‘The Magic Mountain’ by Thomas Mann




In which the hero is introduced

Not very (Settembrini, Claudia, Pribislav, Joachim, Naphta)



Scene 1 (Davos railway station)

Hans is met at the station by Joachim

Up here (Joachim)


Scene 2 (Berghof exterior) A few minutes later

First experiences at the sanatorium. He meets Settembrini

Doctor’s orders (Chorus)



A woman once came here coughing (5 soloists)


Scene 3 (Hans’ room) Immediately

Hans starts to settle in. His views on death.

The face of death (Hans)


Scene 4 (Dining room) Immediately

Dinner time for the patients. Claudia makes an entrance. Settembrini’s warning.

Eat, drink and be merry (Chorus)

Chechenya (Claudia and chorus)

The light of human Reason (Settembrini, chorus and audience)


Scene 5 (Berghof exterior)  A week later

Daily life up here. More new experiences for Hans.



My friend and I (Soprano)


Scene 6 Epiphany I (Near a waterfall) Later the same day

The Magic Mountain conjures up scenes from his past. The pencil.

Hippe (Hans and Pribislav)


Scene 7 (Dining room transformed into lecture hall) Half an hour later

Dr Krokowski’s views on the cause of tuberculosis.

Don’t be afraid of Freud (Krokowski and chorus)


Scene 8 (Hans’ room) Ten days later

While preparing to leave, Hans measures his temperature

Mercurius (Hans)



When health was mine (Soprano)


Scene 9 (The dining room) A few minutes later

Hans has a fever! Should he visit the doctor?

Young Hans (Soloists and chorus)

O, how I like to cough (Mrs Stohr)


Scene 10 (Doctors’ waiting room and surgery) The next day

A brief brush with Claudia. Joachim’s check-up – ‘just take 6 months’. Hans has TB and must remain on the Magic Mountain.

The medical sleuth (Behrens)

TB or not TB (Behrens, Krokowski, Matron, Hans, Joachim)

Up here – reprise (Principals and chorus)




Why is Thomas Mann fascinated by disease?

Disease, deformity, disability and death

Little Herr Friedemann

Death in Venice

The Black Swan


Scene 1 (Berghof exterior) Sunday, three weeks later

Settembrini advises his pupil. Hans’ love and Joachim’s TB are still active.


Entr’acte Milady Malady (Male patients)


Scene 2 (Settembrini and Naphta’s rooms) A few days later

A visit to Settembrini introduces an adversary.

The Great Debates (1) (Settembrini, Naphta, Hans, Joachim)

Deo gratias (Naphta)


Scene 3 Epiphany II (Balconies) A few months later

The fruit of Hans’ quest for answers is displayed. A vision of the beloved.

Party time (Chorus)

The facts of life: The selfish gene (Hans)

The facts of life: A brief history of time (Hans)

Party time (Reprise)


Scene 4 (Berghof exterior) A few months later

The arguments continue. Death. Joachim disobeys orders.

The Great Debates (2) (Settembrini, Naphta, Hans)

For Kaiser and country (Joachim)


Scene 5 (In exterior of curtain)

Prepare to witness a wild party

Walpurgis night (Settembrini)


Scene 6 (Dining room transformed for Carnival) Seven months after Hans’ arrival

The Mardi Gras Carnival. Hans breaks with Settembrini and approaches the beloved in a ‘dream’. But she will be leaving in the morning. He pours out his unique brand of love.

Don your mask! Get set! Go! (Chorus)


The Carnival Punch (Doctors and chorus)

Sweet as a peach (Claudia and chorus)

I believe this dream (Hans)

Claudia’s tango (Claudia)

The beauty of the body (Hans)





What is Time?

The Whirligig of Time (Naphta and Chorus)


Scene 1 (Berghof exterior) Covering a number of years

Tensions rise; unease is in the air. Hans is dissatisfied. Will music ease the pain?

The great god Dumps (Chorus)

The Great Debates (3) (Settembrini, Naphta)

Here I am up a mountain (Soloists and Hans)

Been there, done that (Hans)

Valentine’s aria (recording using Joachim’s voice)


Scene 2 (Hans’ room) Sometime later

A call to suicide.

Valentine’s aria (continued)

Der Lindenbaum (recording)


Scene 3 Epiphany III (Mountain scene) Later the same day

Hans takes stock. An enlightening vision.

Betwixt and between (Hans)

Snowstorm and the ‘two-in-one’ vision


Scene 4 (Joachim’s room) Sometime later

Death of Joachim

Up here / For Kaiser and Country – reprise (Joachim)


Scene 5 (Hans’ room) Sometime later

The Séance

Valentine’s Aria – reprise (Voice of Joachim)


Scene 6   Sometime later

The Wheelchair Duel


Scene 7 (Berghof exterior) Seven year after Hans’ arrival

Life up here comes to an end

For Kaiser and Country – reprise.


Epilogue (A Battle field) Sometime during the 1914-18 war

We say farewell

Not very (Principals and Chorus)

Fanfare and Der Lindenbaum