A fairy tale setting; the stage is divided horizontally into two halves, the earth and the underworld; a hazelnut bush divides the earth into two equal countries, each with an oak tree and a tavern. Four youths have come from a country of everlasting darkness into a different country from which they steal the moon which is shining from an oak tree; they hang the moon up in their own country to the delight of their fellow countrymen. As a reward for having attended to the moonlight, each receives a quarter of the moon to take into his grave upon his death.
When the moon has subsequently become »full« once more in the underworld, the youths illuminate it once more. The light wakes the slumbering dead who come out of their graves and embark on a drinking orgy which then degenerates into a brawl. St Peter hears the noise, sends thunder and lightning and comes down to the underworld in person; he has a drink with the »rebels« and leads them back to their resting places through an invocation to sleep. He takes the moon with him and hangs it up in the sky where it is discovered in a dream landscape on earth by a child who calls out to its amazed fellow inhabitants.
 Werner Thomas in: Pipers Enzyklopädie des Musiktheaters, Vol. 4, Munich 1991, p.581 ff.