The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music presents The Merry Widow, the famous operetta by Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehár, at the Ward Recital Hall, Catholic University, tonight, Nov. 15 to 18.
Show dates and times are tonight, Nov. 15 to 17 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for CUA alumni, and $10 for seniors, students, faculty, and staff, and can be purchased online at http://music.cua.edu. Call 202-319-5416 for more information.
“We have a cast of mostly undergraduate singers and many freshmen,” said Sharon Christman, professor and head of the voice division. “We are proud of each and every one of them. Along with a few of the leads who are graduate students, we have included much dancing – folk and waltz – to bring out every facet of this intriguing and beautiful operetta.”
As music director Katerina Souvorova explains, The Merry Widow has quite a history. Originally titled Die Lustige Witwe, The Merry Widow was written in 1905 by Lehár and premiered in Vienna in the famous Theater an der Wien. The libretto by Viktor Léon and Leo Stein is based on the play L’attaché d’ambassade by Henri Meilhac.
“It is one of the most successful and popular theatrical sensations of the last century,” says Souvorova.
The operetta is set in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. At the embassy of the fictional country Marsovia, everyone awaits the arrival of Hanna Glawari, a wealthy widow whose husband died during their honeymoon, leaving her 20 million francs.
The Marsovian ambassador, Baron Zeta, plans to introduce Hanna to a few native bachelors, hoping that, if she chooses one, her money will stay in Marsovia, thereby saving the country from bankruptcy.
At the party, the rich widow meets a man she was in love with many years before. Prince Danilo, whose family rejected Hanna as being a poor match for him, now is disappointed in life and spends all his time at a cabaret.
Hanna and Danilo are still in love, but do not want to admit it to each other. When Hanna announces that according to her late husband’s will she will lose her fortune if she remarries, offers of marriage slip away — and Prince Danilo finds himself without rivals.