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SYNOPSIS: Venice, eighteenth century. Four curmudgeonly husbands vainly attempt to keep their women in order. The women decide to teach their menfolk a lesson by allowing Lunado's daughter Lucieta to see Filipeto, the son of Maurizio, before their pre-arranged marriage, even though the men have forbidden this. Edward Dent’s book transfers the action from Venice to London.
Susanna’s Secret English version by Claude Aveling Opera-intermezzo in 1 act (8 scenes). Libretto by Enrico Golisciani.
2+Picc.2.2.2. / 188.8.131.52. / Timp / Perc / Cel / Hp / Str Alternative orch: 184.108.40.206. / 220.127.116.11. / Timp / Hp or Pno / Str Also: Piano and Str reduction One of the works for which Wolf-Ferrari is best known, Il segreto di Susanna/Susannens Geheimnis is an intermezzo in one act. It premiered in Munich on December 4, 1909. The lively and well-known overture is a particular highlight of the score.
SYNOPSIS: Piedmont, Italy, early twentieth-century. Count Gil returns home suspecting that he has seen his wife, Susanna, walking alone in the street, something he had forbidden her to do. He is relieved to discover that she is playing the piano in the living room, though she has secretly returned home only shortly before him. The room smells of tobacco, and he is surprised, as noone in the household smokes. A horrible thought strikes him: is it possible that Susanna is unfaithful to him? He is soon ashamed of having such suspicions, but notices that the tobacco smell comes from Susanna's clothes. She finally admits to having a secret, but does not tell him what it is. When Gil leaves the house, she takes out a cigarette and smokes with the servant, Sante. But while she is smoking with Sante, Gil comes back, and starts to search the house for Susanna's ‘lover’ on the pretext of looking for an umbrella. Gil furiously goes out again and Susanna lights a second cigarette. Once more Gil enters and, this time, he is sure that he will catch her in the act. Trying to seize her hand, he gets burned - thus finally unveiling her secret. They forgive each other and swear eternal love - while smoking together.
JOSEF WEINBERGEROPERETTA and Though the term itself is Italian in origin, and the genre itself owes much to the Italian opera buffa, the operetta in its most recognisable form was first born in 19th century France, nurtured by the talents of several composers; most notably, those of Jacques Offenbach. Undoubtedly, it was the success of Offenbach’s works outside of France that helped to establish operetta as an international genre during the late 19th century. Offenbach travelled to Vienna three times between 1858 and 1864, and the subsequent stagings of his operettas inspired Viennese composers such as Franz von Suppé and Johann Strauss II to write their own such works - giving birth to the successful Viennese school of operetta. In 1885, fourteen years after Johann Strauss II composed his first operetta, a man named Josef Weinberger founded a publishing business, and began to publish the composer’s operettas. Thus, the long association between JOSEF WEINBERGER and operetta was born.
In 1934, the Hungarian composer Franz Lehár completed his final work for the stage, Giuditta, following a long and hugely successful career.
Lehár had composed the most-celebrated operettas of all time, including The Merry Widow and The Land of Smiles, and he decided to found his own publishing house, in order to retain control over the performance and availablity of his works. As such, Glocken Verlag Vienna was incorporated on 15 February 1935, and Lehár devoted much time to the publication of definitive editions of his operettas. For many years, the administration of this repertoire has been entrusted to the Glocken Verlag Companies in Vienna, London and Frankfurt am Main, and has been administered by the Josef Weinberger Group publishing house in those cities.
Paul Abraham's third operetta, Viktoria und ihr Husar, was one of his most successful. It was premiered in Hungary in 1930, and opened the following year in London (adaption by Harry Graham).
SYNOPSIS: Viktoria is a Hungarian countess who believes her first love, the Hussar captain Stefan Koltay, was killed in World War I. She marries the American legate John Cunlight and resettles at the American embassy in Tokyo. Koltay reappears, alive, and the American generously releases Viktoria from their union.
FALL, Leo (1873-1925) The Dollar Princess* English version by Phil Park and Adam Carstairs Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by A. M. Willner and Fritz Grünbaum.
2(2 dbl Picc).2.2.2. / 18.104.22.168. / Timp / Perc / Hp / Str One of the operettas that catapulted Leopold Fall to success, and still one of his most popular and mostperformed works, Die Dollarprinzessin (1907) is set in New York, and concerns the hapless love of Alice, daughter of a wealthy coal magnate, for the philandering Freddy. The romance is complemented by a cast of colourful characters and – of course - a secondary love plot. Successful productions of Die Dollarprinzessin ran both in London and on Broadway in 1909, and it remains in the opera company repertoire to this day.
HEUBERGER, Richard (1850-1914) The Opera Ball English version by Norman McCann Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by Victor Léon and Heinrich Waldberg 2(2 dbl Picc).2.2.2. / 22.214.171.124. / Timp / Perc / Hp / Str + Stage Music (Str 126.96.36.199.1.) Premiered in Vienna in 1898, Der Opernball is one of Richard Heuberger’s earliest operettas, and is undeniably the work for which is he best remembered. An updated Die Fledermaus, the setting is moved to Paris, and the immortal “Im Chambre Séparée” is a particular highlight.
SYNOPSIS: Paris during Carnival, towards the end of the 19th century. Two wives, Marguérite and Angèle, put their husbands' fidelity to the test. The chambermaid writes letters that invite the husbands to a masked opera ball at the Paris Opera, where they will meet a lady with a pink domino as part of her dress. Act II takes place at the ball…
Unfinished at the time of Kálmán's death in 1953, his final operetta Arizona Lady was completed by his son Charles, and opened in Bern, Switzerland the following year.
SYNOPSIS: 1920, Arizona and Kentucky. Lona Farrell, a Hungarian woman, is much desired by many men for both her money and her charms. Singing cowboy Roy Dexter arrives at her ranch and, at first, refuses to work for a woman. It is only when he sees her prize horse - Arizona Lady - that he agrees to become her employee. He is enthralled with both the horse and Lona, and she, against her will, falls for Roy. The sheriff, who is backing another horse in the local rodeo race, makes a bet with Lona that if Arizona Lady loses, she will marry him. Not long after, Arizona Lady is missing and Roy, the newcomer, is promptly thrown in jail... Act II takes place at the Kentucky Derby.
The Bajadere English version by James Stuart Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald.
188.8.131.52. / 184.108.40.206. / Perc / Cel / Hp / Str Kálmán’s first work with librettists Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald, and his most exotic operetta, Die Bajadere opened in Vienna in December 1921.
SYNOPSIS: 1921, Paris. Indian Prince Radjami von Lahore has fallen in love with actress Odette Darimonde, who is starring at the Châtelet in the operetta “La Bayadère”. Radjami engages the help of a young man, Napoleon St. Cloche, to assist him in pursuing Odette. Napoleon, however, has his own worries, as he is trying to seduce a young married lady, Marietta...
The Circus Princess English version by Adam Carstairs Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald.
2(2 dbl Picc).2.2.2. / 220.127.116.11. / Timp / Perc / Cel / Bjo / Hp / Str + Stage Music First performed in 1926, Die Zirkusprinzessin was Kálmán's follow-up to the hugely popular Gräfin Mariza. It proved similarly successful - in both Vienna and on Broadway.
SYNOPSIS: 1912, St. Petersburg and Vienna. The mysterious, masked violinist/acrobat, Mister X, is the star performer of Circus Stanislawski in St.Petersburg. Prince Sergius, the nephew of the czar, is determined to win Princess Fedora. Mister X, however, confronts Fedora and declares his love, hinting that maybe they have met before. Fedora is fascinated by the masked man and dismisses Sergius' advances. Insulted by her choice of a circus performer over him, Sergius swears revenge....
Countess Maritza* English version by Nigel Douglas Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald.
2(2 dbl Picc).2.Tarogato.2.2. / 18.104.22.168. / Timp / Perc / Cel / Hp / Str + Stage Music Composed in 1924, this immensely popular operetta exemplifies Kálmán's ability to successfully incorporate Hungarian motifs into the traditional Viennese light opera. One of the finest examples of the genre, this work features interesting solo parts for tenor and soprano, a skilfully crafted and colorful orchestral score, and an engaging story.
SYNOPSIS: 1920, Countess Mariza’s estate near the Hungarian border. Manja, the gypsy girl, tries unsuccessfully to capture the attention of Béla Törek, the newly hired bailiff on Mariza's estate. Törek, in reality, is Count Tassilo, who, because of his late father's debts, has been forced to sell all his properties and take this job incognito in order to provide a dowry for his sister Lisa. Mariza is a wealthy widow who has become exhausted by the constant courting of men who are after her money. In order to escape this situation, she announces an engagement with a fictitious man. Unfortunately, the name, that she has created for her new fiancé, Baron Koloman Zsupán, actually belongs to a rich pig farmer from Varasdin. Zsupán pursues Mariza, but she has actually fallen for the bailiff....
The Duchess of Chicago English version by Philip Kraus and Gregory Opelka Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald.
2(2 dbl Picc).2.2.2. / 2 Asax. Tsax./ 22.214.171.124. / Timp / Perc / Cel / Pno / 2 Bjo (dbl Mand) / Hp / Str + Stage Music During the 1920s, attempts were made to imbue the operetta with a new lease of life. Lehár and Kálmán both recognised the necessity of finding new ways to intrigue audiences, and this is evident in Kálmán's 1928 Die Herzogin von Chicago, which has been described as “a musical boxing match between old and new dance music”.
Kálmán draws on the political cabaret that was a feature of Vienna, Berlin and Munich at the time, and directly addresses the impact of America, of jazz and of social revolution. Central to the whole operetta is the clash between the Charleston and the Viennese waltz, echoing the unusual collision of cultures that the plot depicts.
Although largely forgotten for much of the twentieth century, Die Herzogin von Chicago has seen recent reappraisal, and can proudly take its place amongst Kálmán’s most witty, tuneful and entertaining operettas.
SYNOPSIS: 1928, Budapest and Sylvaria. American heiress, Miss Mary Lloyd, makes a bet with circle of girlfriends, the "Eccentric Young Ladies Club", as to which of them can buy the most expensive thing in Europe.
In the bankrupt state of Sylvaria, Prince Sándor Boris and his Ministers are trying to keep the natives happy while the King is off to Monte Carlo. As there’s nothing like a Royal Wedding to please the locals, the Prince makes a lovless marriage pact with Princess Rosemarie of Morenia. When Mary arrives in Sylvaria, Mary arranges to buy the royal palace, and decides that, having bought the palace, she must also have "the prince that goes with it"... The setting and score call for 1920s flapper costumes, jazz - and the Charleston!
The Gipsy Princess* English version by Nigel Douglas Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by Leo Stein and Bela Jenbach.
2 (2 dbl Picc). 2.2.2. / 126.96.36.199. / Timp / Perc / Cel / Hp / Str Widely beloved and arguably Kálmán's most successful work, Die Csárdásfürstin (1915) is still one of the most popular of all operettas, having been translated into almost 20 lanuguages, and filmed and recorded extensively.
The story tells of the love between famous cabaret star Sylva and Count Edwin, who cannot marry due to their differing social positions. His mother, Princess Karen, eventually saves the day with a last minute disclosure about her own past; it is discovered that she herself had been on the stage prior to marriage. Described as one of the “pinnacles of Viennese operetta”, the score includes some of the most delightful operetta melodies ever written.
The Little Dutch Girl English version by Harry Graham Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by Leo Stein and Bela Jenbach 2 (2 dbl Picc). 2.2.2. / 188.8.131.52. / Timp / Perc / Cel / Hp / Str Das Hollandweibchen was the operetta with which Kálmán followed his hugely popular Die Csárdásfürstin.
SYNOPSIS: It is 1920, and the operetta opens in the throne room of the German court of SonneburgGlücksburg. Princess Jutta, on her appointed wedding day, eagerly anticipates the arrival of her betrothed, Prince Paul, having fallen in love with him through correspondence and his portraits. However, the Prince does not arrive, and Jutta and Paul are married by proxy. In Act II, she goes looking for for him on his yacht in Holland, and in Act III, she dresses as a waitress and sets a trap for the Prince...
In recent times, a resurgence of interest in the music of stage and screen composer Erich Korngold has led to the rediscovery of some neglected masterpieces. The last of his own stage works, Die stumme Serenade was written in 1954, three years before the composer’s death, exhibits all of his customary fluent flyricism and dramatic sureness. Set in Naples during the 1820s, the story concerns the actress fiancée of the Prime Minister, and her lovelorn dressmaker, who is arrested for two crimes he didn’t commit.