Zurich Opera House tickets 7 March 2024 - Die lustige Witwe | GoComGo.com

Die lustige Witwe

Zurich Opera House, Zurich, Switzerland
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Important Info
Type: Operetta
City: Zurich, Switzerland
Starts at: 19:30
Acts: 3
Sung in: German
Titles in: German,English
Cast
Performers
Soprano: Marlis Petersen (Hanna Glawari)
Soprano: Katharina Konradi (Valencienne)
Bass-Baritone: Martin Winkler (Baron Mirko Zeta)
Baritone: Michael Volle (Count Danilo Danilovitsch)
Conductor: Patrick Hahn
Orchestra: Philharmonia Zürich
Choir: Zürich Opera Chorus
Creators
Composer: Franz Lehár
Director: Barrie Kosky
Librettist: Leo Stein
Librettist: Viktor Léon
Overview

Stage director Barrie Kosky, whose numerous original operetta productions at the Komische Oper in Berlin revived the genre of operetta in recent years, will stage the Merry Widow at the Opernhaus Zürich. It will be the first time he works on an operetta here. Marlis Petersen and Michael Volle, two outstanding singers and performers, will play the central roles. The young, talented Austrian Patrick Hahn will conduct the Philharmonia Zürich.

Franz Lehár’s operetta Die lustige Witwe premiered in Vienna in 1905, igniting a brand-new, international case of operetta fever. As far away as New York, the enthusiasm soon spilled over into everyday life: people wore Merry Widow hats, smoked Merry Widow cigarettes, and slurped down Merry Widow cocktails. The buzzing metropolises of the early 20th century provided the ideal breeding ground for a kind of commercial operetta cult. Philosopher Theodor Adorno compared the hustle and bustle around the Merry Widow to the success of the department stores that were springing up at the time. As in a window display, Lehár’s operetta – from its catchy hit tune to its folkloric manner, and from its frivolous cancan to its maudlin waltz duet – musically offers everything the heart desires. Even the plot itself takes the audience into an illusory world of love and wealth: the rich widow Hanna Glawari is idolized by Parisian men. Meanwhile, Mirko Zeta, ambassador of the heavily indebted state of Pontevedro, worries that the widow might lose her heart and her millions to a Frenchman, and sets the bon vivant Danilo upon her. But Hanna and Danilo are loathe to give off the impression that their union is only about money, and decide to take things slowly. From today’s perspective, there is no doubt that beneath the sheen of the fictional operetta state of Pontevedro and the exaggeratedly asserted laidback approach to life in the Merry Widow, there is a sense of the approaching decline of the bourgeois world, of political conflict, and impending inflation.

History
Premiere of this production: 30 December 1905, Theater an der Wien, Vienna

The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe) is an operetta by the Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehár. The librettists, Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, based the story – concerning a rich widow, and her countrymen's attempt to keep her money in the principality by finding her the right husband – on an 1861 comedy play, L'attaché d'ambassade (The Embassy Attaché) by Henri Meilhac.

Venue Info

Zurich Opera House - Zurich
Location   Sechseläutenplatz 1

Zürich Opera House is a main opera house in Zürich and Switzerland. Located at the Sechseläutenplatz, it has been the home of the Zürich Opera since 1891, and also houses the Bernhard-Theater Zürich. It is also home to the Zürich Ballet. The Opera House also holds concerts by its Philharmonia orchestra, matinees, Lieder evenings and events for children. The Zürich Opera Ball is organised every year in March, and is usually attended by prominent names.

The first permanent theatre, the Aktientheater, was built in 1834 and it became the focus of Richard Wagner’s activities during his period of exile from Germany.

The Aktientheater burnt down in 1890. The new Stadttheater Zürich (municipal theatre) was built by the Viennese architects Fellner & Helmer, who changed their previous design for the theatre in Wiesbaden only slightly. It was opened in 1891. It was the city's main performance space for drama, opera, and musical events until 1925, when it was renamed Opernhaus Zürich and a separate theatre for plays was built: The Bernhard Theater opened in 1941, in May 1981 the Esplanada building was demolished, and the present adjoint building opened on 27/28 December 1984 after three years of transition in the Kaufhaus building nearby Schanzengraben.

By the 1970s, the opera house was badly in need of major renovations; when some considered it not worth restoring, a new theatre was proposed for the site. However, between 1982 and 1984, rebuilding took place but not without huge local opposition which was expressed in street riots. The rebuilt theatre was inaugurated with Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the world première of Rudolf Kelterborn’s Chekhov opera Der Kirschgarten.

As restored, the theatre is an ornate building with a neo-classical façade of white and grey stone adorned with busts of Weber, Wagner, and Mozart. Additionally, busts of Schiller, Shakespeare, and Goethe are to be found. The auditorium is built in the neo-rococo style and seats approximately 1200 people. During the refurbishment, the issue of sightlines was not adequately addressed. As a result, the theatre has a high number of seats with a limited view, or no view, of the stage. This is unusual in international comparison, where sightlines in historic opera houses have been typically enhanced over time.

Corporate archives and historical library collections are held at the music department of the Predigerkirche Zürich.

The Zürich Opera House is also home of the International Opera Studio (in German: Internationales Opernstudio IOS) which is a educational program for young singers and pianists. The studio was created in 1961 and has renowned artists currently teaching such as Brigitte Fassbaender, Hedwig Fassbender, Andreas Homocki, Rosemary Joshua, Adrian Kelly, Fabio Luisi, Jetske Mijnssen, Ann Murray, Eytan Pessen or Edith Wiens.

Important Info
Type: Operetta
City: Zurich, Switzerland
Starts at: 19:30
Acts: 3
Sung in: German
Titles in: German,English
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