WGSLO banner




The Merry Widow
by Franz Lehár
Touring August to September, 2016
The 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.

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.

Production Details:
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:
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

PRINCIPAL ROLES:
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
 
MINOR ROLES:
St. Brioche - Diplomat, guest at the emb
assy                        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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Merry_Widow
Links to recordings:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pUtRjDx2k8