Opera Scotland

Merry Widow The Merry Widow; Die lustige Witwe

Tours by decade

1920s - 1 tour

1923 - George Edwardes' Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1930s - 1 tour

1932 - Barry O'Brien and Carl Brisson
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1950s - 3 tours

1954 - Daubeny Vienna Operetta
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1970s - 4 tours

1973 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1974 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1976 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1977 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1980s - 1 tour

1989 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2000s - 5 tours

2004 - Carl Rosa Company (est 1998)
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2005 - Welsh National Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2005 - Carl Rosa Company (est 1998)
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2008 - Scottish Opera
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
2008 - Tayside Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2010s - 2 tours

2019 - Opera Bohemia
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Fully staged, piano accompaniment

Tours by location

Scotland, UK - 71 entries

1923 - George Edwardes' Company
Dundee
1932 - Barry O'Brien and Carl Brisson
Edinburgh
1954 - Daubeny Vienna Operetta
Aberdeen
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Dundee
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Aberdeen
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Dundee
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1973 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1973 - Scottish Opera
Stirling
1973 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1973 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1974 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1976 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
1976 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1976 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1977 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1977 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1989 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1989 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1989 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2004 - Carl Rosa Company (est 1998)
Edinburgh
2005 - Carl Rosa Company (est 1998)
Glasgow
2005 - Welsh National Opera
Edinburgh
2008 - Scottish Opera
Giffnock, Glasgow
2008 - Scottish Opera
Tain, Ross-shire
2008 - Scottish Opera
Thurso, Caithness
2008 - Scottish Opera
Kirkwall, Orkney
2008 - Scottish Opera
Ullapool
2008 - Scottish Opera
Stornoway, Lewis
2008 - Scottish Opera
Plockton, Ross-shire
2008 - Scottish Opera
Fort William
2008 - Scottish Opera
Stirling
2008 - Scottish Opera
Perth
2008 - Scottish Opera
Langholm
2008 - Scottish Opera
Ayr
2008 - Scottish Opera
Newton Stewart
2008 - Scottish Opera
Nairn
2008 - Scottish Opera
Drumnadrochit, Inverness-shire
2008 - Scottish Opera
Oban, Argyll
2008 - Scottish Opera
Aboyne, Aberdeenshire
2008 - Scottish Opera
Forfar
2008 - Scottish Opera
St Andrews
2008 - Scottish Opera
Dunoon
2008 - Scottish Opera
Kelso
2008 - Scottish Opera
Musselburgh, East Lothian
2008 - Scottish Opera
Peterhead, Aberdeenshire
2008 - Tayside Opera
Dundee
2008 - Scottish Opera
Pitlochry
2008 - Scottish Opera
Easterhouse
1974 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Edinburgh
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Perth
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Glasgow
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Kirkcaldy
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Lanark
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Stirling
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Ellon, Aberdeenshire
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Lossiemouth
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Boat of Garten
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Strathpeffer
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Thurso, Caithness
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Portree, Isle of Skye
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Ayr
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Newton Stewart
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Greenock
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Galashiels
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Falkirk
2019 - Opera Bohemia
Arran

England, UK - 10 entries

Music
Franz Lehár (born Komorn, 30 April 1870; died Bad Ischl, 24 October 1948)

Text
Viktor Léon & Leo Stein

Source
Play L’attaché d’ambassade (1861) by Henri Meilhac.

Premieres
First performance: Vienna (Theater an der Wien), 30 December 1905.
First UK performance: London (Daly’s Theatre), 8 June 1907.
First performance in Scotland: To be confirmed (1908).
Scottish Opera premiere: Glasgow (King’s Theatre), June 19 1973.

Background
Lehár dominated the world of Viennese operetta in the early years of the twentieth century. His father was a military bandmaster in the Austro-Hungarian army, and that was the route Lehár followed in his early career. It took several years before he achieved success as a composer, first with his famous Gold and Silver waltz, then, after several failures, with his operetta The Merry Widow. These two items have remained universally popular. While he continued to produce theatre works for the rest of his life, and had several successes, nothing approached the quality or success attained by The Merry Widow, which is, quite simply, a masterpiece. Its only possible rival as the greatest of the Viennese operettas is Die Fledermaus.

Characters
Baron Mirko Zeta, Pontevedrian Ambassador in Paris (bass)
Valencienne, Zeta’s wife (soprano)
Count Danilo Danilowitsch, First Secretary at the Embassy (baritone)
Camille de Rosillon (tenor)
Hanna Glawari, a wealthy widow (soprano)
Vicomte Cascada (baritone)
Raoul de St Brioche (tenor)
Njegus, an Embassy Secretary (spoken)

Plot Summary
The mythical Balkan state of Pontevedro is suffering a financial crisis following the death of a multimillionaire banker, Glawari. His wealth dominates the nation’s economy, and has been inherited by his beautiful young widow, Hanna. She is visiting Paris, and Baron Zeta, the Ambassador to France, has been instructed to ensure that she does not marry a foreigner. Danilo, an attaché at the embassy is ordered to serve his country by marrying the widow – Zeta is not aware that Hanna and Danilo had been very close before her marriage and that Danilo is rather sensitive on the subject. Camille, an impoverished French aristocrat is seen as the main rival for Hanna’s affections, but he is more interested in Zeta’s attractive young wife Valencienne. While the happy outcome is never in doubt, the attraction of the operetta comes from the clever execution of the plot by which Hanna and Danilo are brought together, and the endless stream of varied melodies Lehár provides.

The Cast

Baron Mirko Zeta
 Pontevedrian Ambassador in Paris
Bogdanowitsch
 Pontevedrian Consul
Camille de Rosillon
 
Clo-Clo
 a grisette
Count Danilo Danilowitsch
 Secretary to the legation, reserve cavalry lieutenant
Do-Do
 a grisette
Frou-Frou
 a grisette
Hanna Glawari
 a wealthy young widow
Jou-Jou
 a grisette
Kromow
 Counsellor to the Pontevedrian legation
Lo-Lo
 a grisette
Margot
 a grisette
Njegus
 Chancery Clerk at the Embassy
Olga
 wife of Kromow
Praskowia
 wife of Pritschitsch
Pritschitsch
 retired Pontevedrian colonel, Military Attaché
Raoul de St Brioche
 
Sylviane
 wife of Bogdanowitsch
Valencienne
 Zeta's wife
Vicomte Cascada
 

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