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MAHLER   appears conducting an unseen orchestra, playing the 3rd movement of his 1st symphony. Feierlich gemessen, ohne zu schleppen. (Festive, and measured; no dragging.)

GROPIUS   appears with rolled-up architect's sketches under his arm. He is followed by Zemlinsky, Burckhard, and Klimt, all wearing various masks.

WERFEL   appears dressed as a young poet laureate. He recites his poem »Man is dumb«.

ALMA 1-3   appear disguised as three Venetian courtesans, with bulging bellies of pregnant women in their eighth month. Bona sera, Signor Kokoschka!

KOKOSCHKA   Who are these women?

GROPIUS   Don't you know them? They are famous Venetian courtesans.

ALMA 2   I heard you were throwing an extraordinary party?!

ALMA 3   A kind of christening party?!

ALMA 1   Where is this wonderful masked ball's guest of honor?

KOKOSCHKA   Here! Here's the Person in person!

ALMA 2   Oh! Look, what a gorgeous doll!

ALMA 3   I bet she's one of your former mistresses?!

KOKOSCHKA   Oh no, she is my great, unforgettable love of my life!

ALMA 1   She looks like a live copy !

KOKOSCHKA   She is not a live copy. She's the original! This is all she was.

ALMA 1-3   Oh! Do you sleep with her?

KOKOSCHKA   No. Not any more. But I used to do.

BURCKHARDT   Oh! I'm so jealous! All I was only ever allowed to do was to read to her.

KLIMT   Me, too. She only let me kiss her. But that kiss will linger in my memory for ever!

ZEMLINSKY   Things weren't much better for me: she only let me caress her. But she always refused me the ultimate!

KOKOSCHKA   My dear friends, then your hour has come ! Yes, yes! Use it! She's yours! She is at your service, body and soul! Dispose of her and do with her whatever you wish. Whatever you desire! And don't spare her a thing! Don't spare her a thing! You hear me? Nothing! - Now, Let's all dance!

Zemlinsky, Burckhard, Klimt, and all Alma's lover's and husbands court the Alma-Doll manipulated by Reserl, wooing her, and she offers herself to them. Kokoschka is drawing fast sketches of the scenes. The event develops into an orgy.

KOKOSCHKA   Yes! Kill Alma! Go on! Yes, Alex, kill her! Come on Gustav! Kill her!
Werfel is fascinated by the three Alma-Courtesans. He drags them to a corner and gets involved with them, while the others go messing around with the doll. As Werfel is wildly abusing the Almas, they keep yelling:

ALMA 1-3   Oh! Franz! Oh! You're molesting me! You're killing me!! Don't! Don't!! Don't spare me! Oh, fais moi mal, Franz! Fais moi mal!!!!

WERFEL   Je vais te faire mal! Je vais te faire mal!

ALMA 1-3   Oh yes! J'aime l'amour qui fait mal! Oh murderer! Oh, you're killing your own baby! Oh! Do it! Kill me! Kill him! Kill us!

At a certain point Gustav Mahler decapitates the doll. Everybody leaves, except Kokoschka, Reserl and U.S. Alma, who has watched the whole Masked Ball in bewilderment. The place is now illuminated only by moonlight. It's the scenery of Kokoschka's »Windsbraut« (»The Tempest«). Reserl undresses in front of Kokoschka.