I adore the simple folktale concerning the Starkind. This is the tale of the orphan girl who is blessed by stars, after she selflessly gives away all her possessions to imperiled beggars. As I was looking for more information regarding the story, I came across an opera with a similar title; Das Sternenkind. I later discovered that this opera had nothing to do with the Starkind story of which I was familiar. Instead, this story contrasts outer beauty with an inner state of ugliness. The titular child in this story fell to Earth as an infant. It was raised by a poor family who admired it for its incredible beauty. Unfortunately, the beautiful child is rotten to the core and ultimately comes to reject its mother who forsook her celestial position to wander the Earth looking for it. By the time the mother finds the child, she has lost her heavenly beauty and has the appearance of a common beggar. The story resolves only when the child loses his beauty and searches the world looking for the mother it rebuked.

This is the full text of the short story on which the opera was based. The following video is a Russian language movie that roughly follows the Oscar Wilde story. However, there are significant changes to the tale, after the mother is rebuked.

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