Act 1. St. Petersburg. Circus lobby Stanislavsky
High society crowd Russian capital intrigued by a new emerging star of the circus. This mysterious young artist who never takes off his mask and acts under the pseudonym Mr. X. Circus director Stanislavsky said that under the terms of the contract even he did not see the person Mr X. Surrounded by a crowd of fans in the circus lobby appears a young widow heiress to a vast fortune Palinskaya Princess Fedora. Under the terms of the will of her late husband she has six weeks to marry a fellow otherwise all the capital will go to other relatives of her late husband who live abroad. Around Princess many contenders for her hand among them - a relative of the Czar Sergei. But Fedor mockingly rejects him. It is interested person Mr X. Mr. X appears. It represents the public. Fedor actor denies a request to kiss her hand. Jester circus worthy of such honor. Fans of Princess try to force remove the mask of Mr X to satisfy the curiosity of his lady but Fedor stops quarrel. The audience leaves the room. Mr. X reflects on the fate of a circus artist and attitudes of secular society then rushes to the scene. He must act. In the lobby there is Tony Schlumberger a young Austrian from Vienna who is in love with an English girl circus dancer Mabel Gibson. Mabel appears. In the comic dialogue turns out that in fact it is also an Austrian from Vienna named Lisa and for an English girl poses as the insistence of the director of the circus for the exotic. Make an appointment Tony leaves. Returns after a speech Mr. X. He shocked meeting with Fedor and Mabel tells his secret. His name is Theodore Palinsky and a few years ago he was in love with this woman who was the bride of his uncle Prince Palinskogo. When the prince learned about love in the bride`s nephew he ruined his career in the Hussars and Fedor had run away from home and become a circus performer. Appears Grand Duke Sergei who Fedor just refused once again. Give up the hope to become husband of Princess Grand Duke decides to get back at her and a disgrace in the eyes of polite society. For this he has to meet with Mr. X Fedorov named Prince Kirasova. Now it really proud Princess allow him to kiss his hand. Mr. X agrees he can not resist the temptation to see his girlfriend and talk to her. Prince invites all to attend the gala dinner right here in the lobby of the circus. Mr. X comes without a mask. The Grand Duke is his as Prince Theodore Kirasova. Theodore kept his eyes on the handsome young man. The plan starts to be the Grand Duke.
Act 2. Ballroom in the palace of the Grand Duke
It`s been six weeks. Fedora feeling and imaginary prince Kirasova strengthened. They love each other but the Grand Duke finds it necessary to speed things up. At the ball he passes the princess forged them a letter from the king in which he allegedly requires that Fedor tomorrow came to the palace where the king himself appointed her groom to the capital of her former husband remained in Russia. The only way - right there in the home church of the great prince to marry a prince Kirasovym. Lovers enthusiastically take this exit and go after the prince of the church. Before that Prince Theodore cheating saying that everything he said Fedor. At the ball there are Tony and Mabel their relationship also reached a climax. They also decide to get married immediately. Wedding ceremony is perfect. From the Church of the Prince and Princess come Kirasovy. Suddenly the room includes circus performers led by director Stanislavsky. They offer a portrait of a pair of Mr X. Grand Duke says Theodore her husband fake prince in fact it`s circus Mr. X and it has now become a princess of the circus. Princess in horror she rejects her newfound husband. In anger Fedor opens her the truth - he`s a Prince Prince Palinsky in love with her for a long time and only because of unrequited love and jealousy uncle had become a circus performer. Fedor is trying to return it but Palinsky goes with circus performers.
Act 3. Vienna. Hotel `Archduke Charles`
In the restaurant the hostess Charles Schlumberger and the maitre d `hotel Pelican discuss business and personal affairs mistress. She was concerned about the behavior of his son Tony who came from St. Petersburg not himself. Also suspect is a mysterious woman who had settled in the hotel at the same time with the return of Tony. Carl leaves. Appears Tony he`s desperate do not know how to tell the mother that is afraid the news that he had married without her knowledge and even a circus artist. Tony tells about all the Pelican he promises to help. The restaurant down Lisa she insists that Tony introduced her mother. She does not want to be in a false position. In the midst of the explanation is Charles. Hide the truth no longer possible. After a stormy Karl and Lisa hit it off and reconciled Lisa is the daughter of an Austrian officer Burshtallera Tony is forgiven. The restaurant is open there is public. Among the guests of the Grand Duke and Fedor. Fedor inconsolable but proud it would not be the first to seek reconciliation with her husband who left for an unknown destination after the wedding. Grand Duke fully supports her in this. Appears Fedor. He forgave his wife but does not want to explain to her the Grand Duke. With Pelican Grand Duke can not remove from the restaurant. Sits next to Fedor Fedorov. And his wife made up and are now living happily ever after.
The premiere took place at the Vienna Opera March 26 1926.