The Merry WidowThe Merry Widow (Die Lustige Witwe) is a heart-warming romantic comic operetta in three acts by Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehár (1870-1948), set at the start of the 20th century. The plot, based on the comedy play L'attaché d'ambassade by Henri Meilhac, centres on efforts master-minded at a Parisian embassy to ensure that a rich widow is married off to a fellow countryman to avert financial collapse of her native land, with a sub-plot of would-be romantic entanglements to confuse the scheming. Hero and heroine confess their yearning for each other in the truly eye-dampening penultimate waltz scene and all ends joyfully when the widow's own scheme is hatched. The company men and women both deplore and celebrate each others' wiles and foibles in a joyous finale.
by Franz Lehár
Touring August to September, 2016
The original German libretto was compiled by Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, The Hassall English libretto will be used for this ever-popular work whose endearing and memorable music includes the Merry Widow Waltz, You'll find me at Maxim's, Women, Women!, Red as the rose in Maytime and the Vilia song. The work incorporates energetic dances including ethnic Balkan Kolo and Can-Can sequences.
The Merry Widow will be presented fully staged, in period costume, accompanied by 27 players from Orchestra Wellington, with music direction by Hugh McMillan, directed by Gillian Jerome, choreography by Lia Purcell assisted by Ellen Spear.
Performances are scheduled as follows;
27 August 4:00pm, 28 August, 2:00pm - Southward Theatre, Kapiti
2, 3 September, 7:30pm - Wellington Opera House
(no performance on Saturday 10 Sept).
17 September, 4:00pm - Napier Municipal Theatre
24 September, 4:00pm - Regent Theatre, Palmerston North
Anna - Madame Glavari - "The Merry Widow" Georgia Jamieson-Emms
Danilo - Count Danilovitsch - Aristocratic playboy-attaché Craig Beardsworth
Baron Zeta - Pontevedrian Ambassador in Paris. David Skinner
Valencienne - Baroness Zeta - The Ambassador's wife. Celia Falchi
Camille - Count de Rosillon Jade Neale
Njegus - Embassy Secretary David McKenzie
St. Brioche - Diplomat, guest at the embassy Chris Whelan
Cascada - Diplomat, guest at the Embassy. Kevin O'Kane
Kromov - Embassy attaché, Lindsay Groves
Olga - Wife of Kromov Amy Bendall
Bogdanovitsch - Embassy attaché Glenn Rush
Pritsch - Embassy attaché Richard Dean
Sylvia - Lady guest at the embassy Beatrix Carino
Praskovia - Lady guest at the embassy. Malinda Di Leva
Plus grisette dancers Lo-Lo, Do-Do, Jou-Jou, Clo-Clo, Frou-Frou & Margot,
with chorus of fellow countrymen and partners, footmen and waiters.
Links to general infomation, synopsis and resources:
Links to recordings: