May 06

Die Lustige Witwe, by Franz Lehár, and performed by the Zürich Opera ????

This is probably the best of the Lehár works, but also the most expensive. The music is a bit more memorable, notably some of the late pieces in the operetta. Lehár uses a mix of speaking, singing, dancing and ballet in this work. The plot is not so crazy as many of his other works, with a plain-jane Viennese lady returning from Paris, whose very wealthy husband died on her wedding night, leaving her a supremely wealthy person, and now suddenly attracting many Viennese suitors. Ultimately, the Graf (Count) wins out, but only after many false moves and deceptions. This performance is a stage performance, nicely done, and worth having in one’s collection. Lehár will never be in my top ten composers, though he successfully creates a minor work of art in this operetta.

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