Franz Lehar Operetta The Merry Widow

Classical Music Datebook: December 30 

Franz Lehar operetta "The Merry Widow" premiered December 30, 1905, in Vienna, Austria.


The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe) is an operetta, a romantic musical comedy by Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehar. The librettists, Victor Leon and Leo Stein,  based the story about a rich widow, Hanna Glawari, and her attempt to find a husband, on an 1861 comedy play, L'attache d'ambassade (The Ambassador's Attache) by Henri Meilhac.

It was first performed at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on 30 December 1905 and had several very successful productions in Austria and Germany. In its English adaptation by Basil Hood, with lyrics by Adrian Ross, the show became a sensation in London in 1907 and opened a few months later on Broadway for a very successful run. Thereafter, it was played frequently in America and throughout the English speaking world.

Well-known music from from the score includes the songs "Vilja" and "The Merry Widow Waltz."


Video Credit:

"Renée Fleming - Vilja-Lied - Die lustige Witwe". YouTube, uploaded by bollypl. Accessed 22 January January 30, 2014. 


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