Michael Rosewell conductor
Liam Steel director
Neil Irish designer
Kevin Treacy lighting designer
Lehár The Merry Widow (Die Lustige Witwe)
Be transported to glistening, extravagant 1920s Paris with Franz Lehár’s most celebrated operetta, performed by talented singers of the RCM Opera Studio.
Hanna Glawari is a vastly wealthy young widow from the small and poverty-stricken Balkan province of Pontevedro. Ambassador Baron Zeta is anxious that when Hanna re-marries, it is to a Pontevedrian and not a Frenchman, to keep her money in the country and save them all from ruin. At the Embassy ball of her homeland, she encounters her ex, Count Danilo, who the baron thinks is the obvious choice for her to marry. However, Danilo has an appetite for wine and women, and Hanna will not contemplate marrying him until he finally professes his love for her.
Misunderstandings and comedic misadventure abound when it transpires that the Baron’s wife, Valencienne, is having an affair with the Count de Rosillon, and Hanna jumps in to save the married lady’s reputation. What follows is a comic tale of romantic intrigue, full of memorable melodies and played out against a backdrop of champagne fuelled parties, and the decadent Parisian nightclub – Chez Maxims.
Franz Lehár's uplifting operetta was a roaring success after its premiere in 1905, with the instantly recognisable Vilja Song and Merry Widow Waltz becoming staples of the opera canon.
Please note that this production contains some mild adult themes and scenes of smoking. Parental discretion is advised for children. The performance will also use haze.
Libretto by Viktor Léon & Leo Stein
Music by Franz Lehár
This production will be sung in German, with English dialogue translation by Jeremy Sams
English translation used by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited
Supported by The Patrick & Helena Frost Foundation and The Vivien and Peter Beckwith Young Musicians Trust
Approximate running times:
Act 1 - 45 mins
Interval - 20 mins
Act 2 - 50 mins
Act 3 - 20 mins
Total running time with interval - approx 2 hours 15 mins