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VON SUPPÉ, Franz (1819-1895) Boccaccio English version by John Barker Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by Friedrich Zell and Richard Genée 2 (2 dbl Picc).2.2.2. / / Timp / Perc / Str Boccaccio (1879) tells the (somewhat speculative) story of the real-life Italian author and poet Boccaccio. In early-Renaissance Florence, the erotic novellas of Boccaccio cause a stir and the locals are divided into the female fans of his scandalous tales and their jealous husbands. A plot is hatched by the husbands to chase Boccaccio from the city and have him locked up. But Boccaccio has other plans, including one to win the hand of the Duke's daughter Fiametta, which he finally succeeds in doing after finding favour with the Duke. Often regarded as Suppé's finest operetta, which he called "the greatest success of my life”, Boccaccio cemented the composer’s comeback to the Viennese stage, after a decade of dominance by Strauss.

Fatinitza English version by Rodney Blumer, Jean Shaw and Christopher Shaw Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by Friedrich Zell and Richard Genée.

2(2 dbl Picc).2.2.2. / / Timp / Perc / Str Fatinitza was composed in 1876, only two years after Johann Strauss II’s popular Die Fledermaus, and used the same librettists – Friedrich Zell and Richard Geneé. The operetta was a great success for the remainder of the nineteenth century.

SYNOPSIS: Fatinitza is set during the Crimean War, and concerns Russian lieutenant Vladmir’s efforts to marry the niece (Lydia) of General Kantschukoff, despite her abduction by a Turkish Pasha. In order to discourage Vladimir from courting Lydia, Kantschukoff transfers Vladimir to serve in the infantry at Isaktscha. Just for fun, Vladmir dresses up as ‘Fatinitza’, having done so once before and having won the affections of the General in the process. When the Turkish governor attacks the camp, both Vladmir/Fatinitza (now posing as Lydia’s maid) and Lydia are abducted. The second act is set in the harem of the Pasha’s Palace, where Lydia’s freedom is eventually achieved. Vladimir introduces himself to the general as Fatinitza's caring brother, and Kantschukoff consents to the marriage of Vladmir and Lydia. Vladimir/Fatinitza is a traditionally played by a woman.

The Finishing School English version by Vilem Tausky Operetta in 1 act.

2 (2 dbl Picc).2.2.2. / / Timp / Perc / Org / Str Considered by many to be the birth of the true Viennese operetta, von Suppé’s 1860 Das Pensionat, with its Spanish setting, appeared just as the early Offenbach operettas were arriving in Vienna. Written while von Suppé was the composer-in-residence at the Theater an der Wien, the operetta enjoyed success in New York the following year.

ZELLER, Carl (1842-1898) The Birdseller* English version by Austin Melford, Rudolf Bernauer and Harry S. Pepper Operetta in 3 acts. Libretto by Moritz West and Ludwig Held.

2 (2 dbl Picc). 2.2.2. / / Timp / Perc / Str Carl Zeller’s most popular and successful operetta, and one of the finest operettas of its time, Der Vogelhändler is a bucolic comedy set in the 18th-century Rhineland (Bavaria), featuring two lovers; Adam, a handsome bird seller from the Tyrol, and Christel, the village postmistress. At its premiere on January 10 1891, Zeller's fourth stage work was a spectacular success, at a time when operetta had begun to fade from public favour. Der Vogelhändler renewed Vienna's love affair with the genre, and the work's success was repeated in many other European capitals, and in North and South America. Among the best-known and most inventive musical moments are the heroine's bouncy “Ich bin die Christel von der Post" and the duet "Schenkt Man sich Rosen in Tirol" (When One Gives Roses in Tyrol).

SYNOPSIS: At cross-purposes, Adam and Christel become involved in romantic complications at the Court of the reigning Prince. After a number of intrigues and misunderstandings, the ending - in which the Court joins the Tyroleans in dancing the previously unfamiliar Laendler, and the birdseller greets his new neighbors in Tyrolean dialect - represents a triumph of cross-cultural integration and friendship.

OPERETTA – Operatic Society versions BY COMPOSER

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Based on a famous operetta which was adapted for the Grace Moore film as The King Steps Out (1936), this is the real-life story of the romance between the young Emperor Franz Josef of Austria and Princess Elizabeth of Bavaria. The score is rich in melody, one of the best-loved songs being "Stars In Your Eyes" - which appears in this version as "Three Magic Words".

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Frederica English translation by Bernard Dunn and Harry Pepper. Music adapted by Ronald Hanmer. / / Timp / Perc / Hp / Str Gipsy Love English translation by Phil Park. Music adapted and arranged by Ronald Hanmer. / / Timp / Perc / Hp / Str The Land of Smiles English translation by Graham/Carter/Tysh. Music adapted by Hans May. / / Timp / Perc / Hp / Str The Merry Widow English translation by Phil Park. Music adapted and arranged by Ronald Hanmer.

1 (1 dbls Picc).1.2.1. / / Timp / Perc / Hp / Str Paganini English translation by A. P. Herbert. Orchestration by Harry Dexter. / / Timp / Perc / Hp / Str

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Originally rejected by Johann Strauss II, the libretto for Der Bettelstudent was then offered to Carl Millöcker.

The operetta premiered in December 1882 and became an enduringly popular international triumph, making the composer wealthy, and allowing him to retire from conducting.

SYNOPSIS: Naples, 1840. A rascally Colonel in the Austrian Army of Occupation plans revenge on a girl who has rebuffed him - Laura, one of the two daughters of an impoverished Italian Countess. He releases two young prisoners on condition they masquerade as a wealthy Prince and his secretary. The 'Prince' has to win Laura's hand, and then humiliate her. How the young men fall in love with the two girls and completely turn the tables on the Colonel is splendidly told in this tuneful operetta.

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The Grand Duchess Book by John Grimsey, lyrics by Phil Park. Music adapted and arranged by Ronald Hanmer. / / Perc / Hp / Str

Orpheus in the Underworld English translation by Phil Park. Music adapted and arranged by Ronald Hanmer / / Perc / Str La Périchole New libretto by John Grimsey and Phil Park. Music adapted and arranged by Ronald Hanmer. / / Perc / Hp / Str

The setting of Offenbach's La Périchole (1868) is Lima, the capital of Peru in the 1750s when Peru was a Spanish dominion. To suit the whim of the Viceroy - a great man for the ladies - an attractive street-singer (La Périchole) is brought to court and made a Countess by the simple expedient of marrying her to a newly-titled 'Count', who is really her street-singer partner and lover. La Périchole is filled with great comedy, engaging romantic intrigues, colourful costumes and delightful music - including the celebrated "Letter Song".

La Vie Parisienne New book and lyrics by Phil Park. Music adapted and arranged by Ronald Hanmer. / / Perc / Hp / Str

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A Waltz Dream New book by Bernard Dunn. New lyrics by Michael Flanders and Edmund Tracey. Music adapted and arranged by Ronald Hanmer. / / Perc / Hp / Str

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The Gipsy Baron New libretto by Phil Park and Conrad Carter, lyrics by Phil Park. Music adapted and arranged by Ronald Hanmer. / / Perc / Hp / Str

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Alphabetical index of works Operatic Society version Aida

Arizona Lady

Bajadere, The

Beggar’s Opera

Beggar Student, The

Belle Hélène, La

Birdseller, The


Bohème, La

Brilliant and the Dark, The


Chocolate Soldier, The

Christopher Columbus

Circus Princess, The

Cosi fan Tutte

Count of Luxembourg, The

Countess Maritza

Czarevitch, The

Doctor Cupid

Don Quichotte

Dollar Princess, The

Duchess of Chicago, The

Dunstan and the Devil


Fanny Elssler, the Dancer



Finishing School, The

Fledermaus, Die

Force of Destiny, The


Gipsy Love

Gipsy Princess, The


Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, The

Growing Castle, The

Gypsy Baron, The

Happy Prince, The

H. M. S. Pinafore

Inquisitive Women

Jewels of the Madonna

Julius Ceasar Jones

Kiss, The

Land of Smiles, The

Lilac Time


Little Dutch Girl, The

Lucky Peter’s Journey


Magic Flute, The


Marriage of Figaro

Masked Ball, A

Merchant of Venice

Merry Widow, The

Mikado, The

Night in Venice, A

Opera Ball, The

Orpheus in the Underworld

Our Man in Havana



Perichole, La

Pilgrim’s Progress, The

Pirates of Penzance, The

Queen’s Lace Handkerchief, The

Rain on Sunday

Red Sea, The

Ring Cycle, The

Robinson Crusoe

Romeo and Juliet


Secret, The

School for Fathers

Silent Serenade, The

Spirit of Vienna

Susanna’s Secret

Tales of Hoffmann

Tenor, The

Thieving Magpie, The

Thousand and One Nights, A

Three Graces, The


Traviata, La

Two Widows, The

Viktoria und ihr Husar

Vie Parisienne, La

Violins of St. Jacques

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