Early 18th-century Krakow: The poor student Simon works as a travelling musician in order to finance his studies, and the Polish freedom fighter Jan is on the run from Saxon troops. They meet in the carriage of Count Kovalska, where they fall in love with the Count’s daughters Laura and Bronislava.
The four young people travel together them to a celebration hosted by the nobleman Ollendorf. Countess Kovalska, offended by Ollendorf’s advances to Laura, hits him with a fan, and the enraged Ollendorf locks up Simon and Jan for their mocking laughter. Ollendorf concocts a plan of revenge that involves disguising Simon as a prince in order to wed him to Laura, but all his intrigues only bring about his crushing defeat.
This musical comedy is based on the 1882 operetta “The Beggar Student” by Carl Millöcker.