L’officina de l’amore | The plot


ADEM, 30, Turkish car mechanic, Baritone
ISABELLA, 60, rich widow from Döbling, Alto
JULIA, 25, bisexual German student, Soprano
DRAGO, 54, Yugoslavian workshop owner, Bass
LOLEK, 26, Polish car mechanic, Tenor
SOLI, 29, car mechanic from Uganda, Bass-baritone
CENNET, 23, Adem‘s distant cousin, Mezzo
FATIMA, 49, Adem‘s mother, Soprano



A car repair shop in Vienna-Ottakring, present time


ADEM, a bachelor, is alone in the workshop with Isabella‘s classic Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
He declares his love to the car. ADEM admires Giulietta’s beauty.
He wants to own her.

Tra le strade del piacer

LOLEK and SOLI enter.
Recitative: They ridicule the corniness of Adems words. ADEM explains this is true love. Love to women has disappointed him. Giulietta is the only one his heart belongs to. LOLEK und SOLI go ‘Giulietta, always Giulietta. We have other cars in the workshop! There’s a lot to do.’.

Scene and trio ADEM, LOLEK, SOLI
Rollicking, cheerful

Recitative: DRAGO, the boss, enters from his office and harshly orders them to work instead of fooling around. He has a mobile phone with him and tells Adem his mother is calling and wants to talk to him. ADEM refuses. His mother annoys him, she’s always talking about her wanting him to marry a Turkish woman. DRAGO tells Adem’s mother Adem is currently lying underneath Giulietta and hangs up. He laughs and sends Soli off to an oil change and Lolek to an electric job. SOLI and LOLEK exit.

DRAGO asks Adem, what damage Giulietta has this time. Every week Isabella takes the car to the repair shop. ADEM explains there’s only a little underbody rust. Isabella just needs a reason for seeing him. He’s an attractive man, irresistible to an old widow like her. He enjoys it. She has a lot of money. Drago should be happy that Adem provides him with such a good customer with a deep pocket.
Disgruntled, DRAGO orders Adem to work on Giulietta’s underbody. ADEM disappears underneath Giulietta.

Scene: ISABELLA enters. DRAGO is like a different person and welcomes her gentlemanly. He likes her. ISABELLA ignores Drago’s affection and asks for Adem. DRAGO comes up with excuses for Adem not being available and offers Isabella a shot of plum brandy. ISABELLA kindly declines and keeps asking for Adem. Eventually ADEM appears and exchanges warm hellos with her. DRAGO backs out and observes them jealously.

ADEM and ISABELLA are having a cheerful flirt. DRAGO comments the action sardonically and exits before the refrain starts.

Il più bel meccanico di Ottakring / La più bella vedova di Döbling

Recitative: SOLI and LOLEK enter. ISABELLA proposes to Adem. For a moment, ADEM is horrified but then he looks at Giulietta and realizes that his wish might become true. Adem acts coyly and pretends to be undecided. ISABELLA tries to convince him and envisions her dream marriage in great detail. Unnoticed by Isabella, ADEM, SOLI und LOLEK ridicule her fantasies.

Il matrimonio del sécol
Allegro spumante

DRAGO enters. ISABELLA asks Adem to make up his mind and says goodbye calling Adem “my future husband”. We hear a clap of thunder. DRAGO ist appalled. LOLEK and SOLI try to appease him. They think it’s wonderful when two lovers want to marry. Angrily DRAGO sends them away.
ADEM laughs about Isabella’s marriage plans. DRAGO attacks Adem, calling him unscrupulous and a con artist. Isabella had deserved better. ADEM exits. There’s more thunder and lightning and it starts to rain.

Stronzo! Bastardo!
Andante con fuoco (minore)

DRAGO exits.
JULIA enters, soaked to her undies by the rain, pushing her bicycle. She asks if someone here could repair a flat tire. ADEM gives her workshop bib pants. She goes behind Giulietta and changes her clothes in a flirtatious manner, being only partly concealed by the car. ADEM observes her and praises her beauty. JULIA, likewise, is smitten with the handsome car mechanic. ADEM claims to be into bicycles.
They discuss the physical advantages of cycling and intensify their flirt.

Braccia forti, chiappe sode
Allegro vivo

By and by, the rain stops. ADEM and JULIA kiss passionately and eventually end up making out wildly inside Giulietta. (Curtain, if available)

End of Act I. Erotic orchestral interlude.
The sun shines again. A rainbow appears above the workshop.


Grazie destino
Andante soave

ADEM and JULIA lovingly say goodbye.
The can’t wait to see each other again.

Recitative: Adem’s mother FATIMA enters the workshop. ADEM ist flabbergasted. FATIMA complains about Adem being an ungrateful son. Now she is going to take his life into her own hands.

Scene: FATIMA calls the Turkish relatives in. The whole family from Yozgat enters. FATIMA has found a wife for Adem: his distant cousin Cennet. CENNET, wearing traditional Turkish garment, is apathic and disgusted. The family insists that Adem finally marry a Turkish woman. ADEM refuses. FATIMA and the family try to make him feel guilty.

Lamento di Fatima

Scene: ADEM still refuses to marry the cousin. FATIMA and LA FAMIGLIA are outraged. Conveniently for Adem, ISABELLA enters. In front of the family, ADEM agrees to marry her and cornily professes, supported by LOLEK and SOLI, the alleged love to his future wife. FATIMA and LA FAMIGLIA are moved by Adem’s and Isabella’s lover’s oath. They give in and decide to go back to Turkey.

La famiglia turca

Recitative: All but CENNET exeunt. JULIA enters. She wants to return the bib pants. The two girls get into a conversation. CENNET complains about the lack of self-determination she feels having in her family / her society. She takes off the traditional garment and slips into the bib pants, much to Julia’s delight. JULIA learns about Adem’s plans with Isabella. Her initial anger turns into passion for Cennet. Amorously, the girls get into Giulietta and disappear.

Io mi piaccio così
Allegro femminista

Recitative: ADEM and ISABELLA return, apparently from shopping. ISABELLA wears a wedding dress, ADEM a tuxedo. ISABELLA opens a bottle of champagne. DRAGO enters and uses an excuse to send Adem to the office. DRAGO warns Isabella of Adem, the con artist. She doesn’t believe him.
ISABELLA wants to spend her sunset years in France and enjoy the remaining time of her life together with her loving partner. DRAGO joins in her dreams.

La sera della vita

ADEM, LOLEK, SOLI, JULIA and CENNET enter. ADEM moves towards JULIA but ISABELLA hugs him and kisses him passionately. Beginning of

Septet Finale Act II

JULIA, being aware of the truth, asks Adem why he kissed that woman. ADEM, LOLEK and SOLI claim that Isabella is Adem’s grandmother and make up outlandish excuses about Turks kissing their grandmother on the lips. ISABELLA’s attention is distracted by the champagne and by DRAGO who scents his chance for revenge. JULIA refutes the excuses by kissing ADEM, thus demonstrating the passion of the previous kiss. Now ISABELLA wants to know why Adem is kissing that young woman so ardently. ADEM, LOLEK and SOLI come up with more stories about exotic family customs.
ISABELLA remarks such customs are fine with her. After all, ADEM is her loving, loyal, future husband. JULIA welcomes this statement and declares she has found the queen of her heart: CENNET.
Everyone except ADEM is delighted, especially LOLEK and SOLI.


Scene: Desperately, ADEM tries to win Julia’s heart back. He assures her of his love and tells her he never loved Isabella and just used her. ISABELLA overhears this and is heartstricken.
JULIA does not change her mind and exits with CENNET and her bike. ADEM runs off after her.

ISABELLA feels very weak. DRAGO rushes to her aid. She sinks into his arms and feels she is going to die.

Ciò che è vinto, è perso
Lento con tristezza

Scene: ISABELLA dies. DRAGO gets a car battery and connects it to Isabella. He manages to reanimate her.
Now Isabella sees her life saver in a new light.
Reprise Duet „La sera della vita“.
ADEM returns and tries to win Isabella back. ISABELLA announces with satisfaction that she will move to France with Drago.
However, as a generous gesture ISABELLA gifts Adem with the car Giulietta. DRAGO und ISABELLA exit happily.

LOLEK and SOLI finally have their coming out.

Il mondo ci appartiene
Allegretto frocio

ADEM is left alone with Giulietta. He possesses the object of his dreams but all of a sudden it seems worthless because love got lost.

Reprise Aria ADEM
(Tra le strade del piacer)

~ F I N E ~