Operetta "The Merry Widow": content, author, actors

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Operetta "The Merry Widow": content, author, actors
Operetta "The Merry Widow": content, author, actors

Video: Operetta "The Merry Widow": content, author, actors

Video: Operetta "The Merry Widow": content, author, actors
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The Merry Widow operetta by Franz Lehár, an Austro-Hungarian composer, is one of the world's most popular operettas. Her lyricism, cheerfulness, wit have always been highly appreciated by both the public and professionals. So, for example, Sergei Rachmaninov praised her, calling her a brilliant, magnificent thing. A summary of the operetta "The Merry Widow" will be presented in the article.

General information

Legar at work
Legar at work

Before proceeding to the presentation of the content of the operetta "The Merry Widow", let's write a few words about it. The operetta, consisting of three acts, was first staged in the capital of Austria, Vienna, at the An der Wien Theatre. It happened in 1905, on December 30th. The libretto was written by Leo Stein and Victor Leon. It is based on a comedy by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, French playwrights, en titled "Attache of the Embassy", written in 1862.

The action of the operetta takes place in Paris in 1905. criticized more than oncethe virtuosity, ease of intrigue of the play presented to the public was noted. In it, they saw closeness with such works as "Parisian Life" by J. Offenbach and "Die Fledermaus" by I. Strauss. This also applied to the types of characters, and the whole appearance of a household salon comedy describing high-society life.

However, in the operetta "The Merry Widow" a serious interpretation of love relationships is given and there is an unlimited lyrical beginning. This work is regarded as the pinnacle of F. Lehar's work. It is characterized by delicate colors, light, airy orchestral music.


Franz Lehar
Franz Lehar

The plot of the operetta has been filmed abroad since 1918. It was also filmed in the Soviet Union in 1984. Next, the main characters of the operetta "The Merry Widow" and the actors who played in the Soviet film will be indicated.

It's about:

  • Ganna Glavari (this is the main role), a rich young millionaire, the widow of a banker, in the past the daughter of a miller. She was played by the famous opera singer Elena Obraztsova.
  • Count Danil Danilovich (also the main role), secretary of the Pontevedro embassy in the French state. In the past, he is a cavalry officer, and now, for the sake of "state interests", he must marry a widow because of her millions. This role was performed by the opera and operetta artist Yuri Vedeneev.
  • After Pontevedro, Baron Mirko Zeta, performed by Boris Ivanov.
  • To the wife of Baron Zeta, Valenciennes (Svetlana Varguzova).
  • French attaché, Comte Camille deRossiglione (Vladimir Bogachev).
  • French diplomat Raoul de Sainte-Brioche (Alexander Markelov).
  • Diplomat Viscount Cascade (Vyacheslav Shlyakhtov).
  • Embassy Secretary Nekoshe (Alexander Lenkov).
  • Counselor of the Cromone Embassy (Yuri Katin-Yartsev).
  • Elge, his wife (Nellie Pashennaya).
  • Bogdanovich, Consul of the Republic of Monteverdo (Leonid Evtifiev).

Content of the operetta "The Merry Widow": Act I

Scene from the play
Scene from the play

In the embassy of the Grand Duchy of Pontevedro, a ball is given in honor of the duke's name day. But the ambassador, Baron Zeta, is not up to fun, because the duchy is in danger of bankruptcy. If the rich widow Ganna Glavari becomes the wife of a foreigner, her 20 million will sail out of the country. But this amount is a significant part of the national we alth.

Baron Zeta plans to marry Hanna Count Danilo, a well-known heartthrob, secretary of the embassy. As a matter of fact, it was for the purpose of their acquaintance that the ball was started. Hanna is already here. She is surrounded by a crowd of men claiming her hand, heart and millions. Count Danilo is late, he is found in the Maxim restaurant and brought to the embassy. Here he falls asleep peacefully, comfortably seated on the couch.

Danilo wakes up when Ganna appears. Once they were not only familiar, but also in love with each other. However, the count's family was against his marriage to a poor and humble girl. Danilo was sent to Paris, and Ganna, offended, married the elderly rich man Glavari. Now Danilo was offended.

Now thatHanna's position has changed when she is bothered by a lot of admirers, the proud count does not want to be among them. He avoids the widow.

Meanwhile, Valencienne, Zeta's wife, flirts with the French attaché, Comte de Rossillon. She forbids her boyfriend to tell her about love. Then he decides to write her a confession on a fan, and she forgets this item somewhere.

Operetta "The Merry Widow": content, act II

Ball at the embassy
Ball at the embassy

A holiday is in full swing in the house of Ganna Glavari. Guests dance national dances, the hostess sings. Baron Zeta finds a fan with words of love inscribed on it. He tries to guess who owns the fan. Having taken a compromising item from him, Count Danilo recognizes Rossillon's handwriting, but does not betray him. After that, the fan gets to Hannah. She thinks that Danilo thus decided to tell her about his feelings.

Valencienne and Camille retire to the pavilion. By chance, they are trapped in it. Peering through the keyhole, the baron recognizes his wife and her admirer. He starts a sandal, but Valencienne manages to slip through the emergency exit, and in her place, saving the honor of her friend, it turns out to be Ganna. They announce their engagement to Camille.

Last act III

Again the garden in Ganna Glavari's mansion. She calms Count Danilo by telling him the whole truth about what happened in the pavilion. Wishing to spare his pride, which may interfere with his confession, the widow informs him of one of the conditions of the will made by her husband. If she remarries, she loses her fortune. After thisnews Danilo immediately proposes to her. Then the cheerful widow adds that, according to the same will, all the money goes to her new husband.

Curious fact

Monument to Lehar
Monument to Lehar

In conclusion of consideration of the content of the operetta "The Merry Widow" we can cite one of the amusing cases associated with its author. The heyday of fame for Lehar and his operetta came in 1910. By this time, it had already made a complete "revolution around the Earth." 18 thousand performances were given, which were held in ten languages of the world. Lehar had so many awards that they could not fit on a tailcoat. He even ordered their miniature copies. The composer was invited to London, where at that time there were three of his operettas. There he was greeted by King George V himself.

In the capital of Great Britain then there was an exhibition of ancient musical instruments. One of the main exhibits on it was a flute from Ancient Egypt. A specially trained flutist was invited to play it for Lehár.

Covering this event, one London newspaper wrote that an old flute poured out quiet, gentle, sad sounds, combined into a beautiful melody. This music made it possible to understand what soft, melancholy tones the inhabitants of the banks of the Nile heard thousands of years ago. The next day, a loud scandal erupted in the editorial office. It was connected with the fact that a w altz from The Merry Widow was played in front of Lehár.