Opera Scotland

Wiener Blut Viennese Blood

Music

Johann Strauss (Born Vienna, 25 October 1825; died Vienna, 3 June 1899)

Arrangement

Adolf Müller, Jr.

Text

Victor Léon & Leo Stein

 

Premieres

First Performance: Vienna (Carl-theater), 26 October 1899.

First Performance (Revision): Vienna (Theater an der Wien), 23 April 1905.

First Performance in UK: tbc.

First Performance in Scotland: tbc.

 

Background

Wiener Blut is one of a number of 'Viennese' operettas compiled from music by Johann Strauss. Unlike its successors, it was, it seems, produced by regular collaborators, with the basic ideas receiving approval before his death.

It has certainly been successful, remaining in the repertoire throughout the twentieth century, at least in Vienna. The plot is no more logical than most of its kind, but is packed with familiar melodies, even if the new context is not always to their advantage.

 

Main Characters

Count Balduin Zedlau, Envoy from Reuss-Schleiz-Greiz in Vienna (tenor)

Countess Gabriele, his wife (soprano)

Prince Ypsheim-Gindelbach, his Prime Minister (baritone)

Franziska Cagliari, a dancer (mezzo-soprano)

Kagler, her father, a fairground proprietor (baritone)

Pepi Pleininger, a mannquin (soprano)

Count Bitowski (bass)

Josef, Count Zedlau's valet (baritone)

Anna, Cagliari's maid (sioprano)

 

Plot Summary

The action takes place in Vienna in 1815, following the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo - the time of the Congress of Vienna, when the future of the continent was decided, and Vienna was crammed with large numbers of diplomats.

Count Zedlau lives in a villa in the suburbs. His wife, a sophisticated Viennese girl, became bored by his provincial ways and has been living back with her parents in central Vienna. He has installed his mistress, the dancer Franzi Cagliari, at the villa, and his time is divided between the two ladies. However he has also taken a fancy to a third woman, Pepi, to the consternation of his valet, Josef, who rather fancies her himself. Pepi now arrives for a costume fitting with Franzi whose troupe of dancers are to entertain at Count Bitowski's ball that evening. Pepi makes a rendezvous with Josef for later, but these plans are disrupted when it is found the dress is too tight. However it fits Pepi neatly, and since she has attended all the rehearsals, it is decided by Franzi that Pepi will take her place in the dance line-up. Pepi leaves, and the next arrival is Zedlau's Prime Minister. He assumes that Franzi is the Countess, and announces that he has just seen Zedlau driving in a carriage with his mistress. The real countess now arrives for a periodic visit to her old home. The Prince duly criticizes her for her misconduct (thinking her to be the mistress). When the Count comes home he is horrified to find his wife, his mistress and his boss together. The Prince still has the two ladies the wrong way round.

That evening at Count Bitowski's ball the confusion continues, with Zedlau still trying to convince both women that nothing untoward was happening earlier. His wife is very suspicious. She tells him that she has always been a full-blooded Viennese, and that he is very different. He insists that if that was the case then he is very different now, having developed the Viennese blood that may have been missing before. He decides to settle down after this new affair with Pepi is over. Josef arrives, ostensibly with a message for his master. He had arranged to take Pepi later to the Casino at Hietzing, but has to call off, allowing her to accept Count Zedlau's own invitation. This means that he can't take his wife or his mistress, who both want to go to the same night-spot. The Prince, still believing the Countess to be Franzi, invites her there himself. He then introduces the Countess (believing her to be Franzi) to Franzi (believing her to be the Countess) and cannot understand the cause of their laughter. When Pepi appears, Gabriele, having seen her among the dancers, assumes she is the real Franzi. When Zedlau comes in to be confronted by all his three women simultaneously, he is rescued by the host, Count Bitowski, who welcomes Countess Gabriele back into Viennese society, thus identifying at least one of the ladies correctly.

The Cast

Anna
 Cagliari's maid
Baron von Pitzelberg
 a diplomat
Count Balduin Zedlau
 Ambassador of Reuss-Schleiz-Greiz in Vienna
Count Bitowski
 
Count Razumov
 a diplomat
Countess Bitowski
 
Countess Gabriele
 Count Zedlau's wife
Duke of Lugando
 a diplomat
Franziska Cagliari
 Franzi, a dancer at the Kärntnertor Theater
Grenadier
 
Guardsman
 
Josef
 Count Zedlau's valet
Kagler
 Cagliari's father, a fairground proprietor
Lisi
 a laundrymaid
Lord Percy
 a diplomat
Lori
 a laundrymaid
Marquis de la Fassade
 a diplomat
Pepi Pleininger
 a mannequin
Prince Ypsheim-Gindelbach
 Prime Minister of Reuss-Schleiz-Greiz
Proprietor of the Casino
 at Hietzing
Waiter
 

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2017

Site by SiteBuddha