Composer: Lehár, Franz 1870-1948
Version: Operatic Society version - translation by Phil Park, music adapted by Ronald Hanmer.
First performed in 1905, and often called The Queen of Operettas, Die Lustige Witwe/The Merry Widow is certainly the most celebrated and successful show of its kind ever written. The melodies and songs - Vilja, The Merry Widow Waltz, You’ll Find Me At Maxim’s, to name but a few - are lovingly played and sung the whole world over, making it one of the surest box-office attractions of all time. SYNOPSIS: Pontevedrian embassy, Paris, 1905. The Ambassador, Baron Zeta, is desperate that the wealthy widow Hanna Glavari marry a Pontevedrian man so that her fortune remains in the country. He attempts to match her and his handsome attaché, Danilo. It turns out that Danilo and Hanna had had a love affair in years past. Nevertheless, Danilo now refuses to love her because he doesn’t want it to look like he just loves her money. In the end, after Hanna reveals that she will loose the money if she remarries, Danilo joyously asks for her hand in marriage. Quickly, she informs him that she will loose her money – because she will give it to her new husband.