The storyline of Poet and Peasant deals with the lack of understanding of a guardian for his young pupil. Though he is a peasant, the young pupil is also an excellent poet who goes on to beat a famous poet from the city in a literary duel. This makes his prestige even bigger. Finally all ends well thanks to the older peasant. Part of the international success of this work is largely due to the many wind band arrangements.
Franz von Suppé (April 1819 – May 1895) was an Austrian composer of light operas from the Kingdom of Dalmatia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now part of Croatia). As a composer and conductor of the Romantic period, he is notable for his four dozen operettas. His parents named him Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere di Suppé-Demelli when he was born. His Belgian ancestors emigrated there in the 18th century, his father – a man of Italian and Belgian ancestry – was a civil servant in the service of the Austrian Empire and he was a distant relative of Gaetano Donizetti. He simplified and Germanized his name when he moved to Vienna. Two of his comic operas, Boccaccio and Donna Juanita have been performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York but failed to become repertoire works. He composed about 30 operettas and 180 farces, ballets, and other stage works. Although the bulk of Suppé's operas have sunk into relative obscurity, the overtures – particularly Poet and Peasant (Dichter und Bauer) and Light Cavalry (Leichte Kavallerie) have survived and some of them have been used in all sorts of soundtracks for films, cartoons, advertisements and are frequently played at symphonic pops concerts. The overture Morning, Noon and Night was the central subject of the 1959 Bugs Bunny cartoon Baton Bunny, while the Poet and Peasant appeared in the 1935 Popeye cartoon The Spinach Overture and the Oscar nominated film of the same title. The overture to Light Cavalry is used in Disney's 1942 Mickey Mouse cartoon Symphony Hour.