No tickets are required, and it is not necessary to RSVP to attend the show. Seating is first-come, first-served. Doors open 30 minutes before the listed show time.
Composer Franz Lehár
Librettist Viktor Léon and Leo Stein
Language Sung in English without supertitles
Dates Spring 2020
About the production The Parisian embassy of the small Balkan country of Pontevedro is hosting a ball, with the guest of honor being the rich widow Hanna Glawari. The Pontevedrian ambassador, Baron Zeta, comes up with a scheme to keep her money in the country: marrying her to Count Danilo Danilovitch. However, unbeknownst to Zeta, the two have history and, while Hanna is really in Paris to win Danilo back, she wants him to say “I love you” first. Danilo is unwilling to do so because it will make him seem like he is only after her for her money, just like all of her Parisian suitors. Things are further complicated by Baron Zeta’s wife, Valencienne, having an emotional affair with a Frenchman, Camille de Rossillon. In order to protect Valencienne from being caught by the Baron, Hanna takes her place in a rendezvous and announces she will marry Camille, breaking Danilo’s heart and worrying the Baron. Hanna has to try and win back Danilo, while Valencienne faces the fact that she does not want Camille to marry anyone else while still avoiding being caught in this fun, funny operetta.
This show is not yet fully cast.
Hanna Glawari (Mezzo-Soprano or Soprano) – a rich and elegant young widow who has come to glamorous Paris to win over her old flame (and former fiancé) Danilo Danilovitsch. She is self-aware and creative, fighting off advances from men in love with her money while forcing Danilo to admit he still loves her.
Note: Hanna is a frequently-transposed role that can be sung by lyric mezzos or sopranos.
Count Danilo Danilovitsch (High Baritone or Tenor) – a young Pontevedrian count and the first secretary of their Parisian embassy who is madly in love with Hanna Glawari. He desperately wants to rekindle their former relationship, but refuses to say "I love you" because he doesn't want to be seen as gold-digging.
Camille de Rossillon (Tenor) – a young and idealistic Parisian gentleman who is having an emotional affair with Valencienne. He desperately wants the relationship to be something more.
Valencienne Zeta (Soprano) – the somewhat cold, beautiful wife of Baron Zeta who is having an emotional affair with Camille de Rossillon. She is reluctant to move the relationship forward because she's torn between her love for Camille and her duty to be "a highly respectable wife".
Baron Mirko Zeta (Bass or Baritone) – the rediculously inept but self-assured Pontevedrian ambassador to France whose first and only priority is to keep Hanna’s money in the country. He is often busy scheming and seems to frequently forget about his wife Valencienne's existence.
Note: This role can also be performed as a spoken role.
Njegus (Spoken only) – the Embassy Secretary who is instructed to carry out most of Baron Zeta's ideas and admires the grisettes of Maxim's, despite not being able to go see them. He is constantly asking Danilo about Maxim's and often has to run damage control after the Baron's plans go wrong.
Note: This role is always performed spoken, but is still a significant role.
Raoul de Saint-Brioche (Tenor) – an unmarried Parisian merchant who isn't attracted to Hanna but pursues her relentlessly for her money.
Vicomte Pierre Cascada (Baritone) – an unmarried Parisian viscount who isn't attracted to Hanna but pursues her relentlessly for her money.
Counsellor Kromov (Baritone) – a pompous and inept Pontevedrian embassy counsellor who is friends with Danilo and hated by Baron Zeta. He doesn't understand his wife and is oblivious to her affair.
Note: Kromov is a comic minor character who can be performed as a spoken role, with the vocal lines sung by a chorus member.
Counsellor Bogdanovitch (Baritone) – a friendly but useless Pontevedrian embassy counsellor who is begrudgingly tolerated by Danilo and the Baron because Pontevedro couldn't find anyone better. He does't understand his wife and is oblivious to her affair.
Note: Bogdanovitch is a comic minor character who can be performed as a spoken role, with the vocal lines sung by a chorus member.
Mrs. Sylviane Bogdanovitch (Soprano or Mezzo-Soprano) – the wife of Counsellor Bogdanovitch who is having a comedic affair with another man.
Note: Sylviane is a minor character who can be performed as a spoken role, with her vocal lines sung by a chorus member.
Mrs. Olga Kromov (Mezzo-Soprano) – the wife of Counsellor Kromov who is also having a comedic affair with another man.
Note: Olga is a minor character who can be performed as a spoken role, with her vocal lines sung by a chorus member.
Baron Mirko Zeta
Raoul de Saint-Brioche
Act 1 The embassy in Paris of the poverty-stricken Balkan principality of Pontevedro is holding a ball to celebrate the birthday of the King. Hanna Glawari, who has inherited fifty million Francs from her late husband, is to be a guest at the ball, and the Pontevedrian ambassador, Baron Zeta, is scheming to ensure that she will keep her fortune in the country, saving Pontevedro from bankruptcy. The Baron intends for Count Danilo Danilovitsch, the first secretary of the embassy, to marry the widow; unfortunately for this plan, Danilo is not at the party, so Zeta sends Danilo’s assistant Njegus to fetch him from the Parisian club Maxim’s, which he is known to frequent.
Danilo finally arrives and runs into Hanna. It emerges they were in love before her marriage, but his uncle had interrupted their romance because Hanna had nothing to her name. Though they still love each other, Danilo refuses to court Hanna out of pride, and Hanna vows that she will not marry him until he says “I love you” – something he claims he will never do, since it will make him seem like he is just like all of her Parisian suitors, only after her fortune.
Meanwhile, Baron Zeta’s wife Valencienne has been flirting with the French attaché to the embassy, Count Camille de Rosillon, who writes “I love you” on her fan. Valencienne continuously puts off Camille’s advances, saying that she is a respectable wife. However, they lose the incriminating fan, which is found by embassy counsellor Kromov. Kromov jealously fears that the fan belongs to his own wife, Olga, and gives it to Baron Zeta. Not recognising it, Baron Zeta decides to return the fan discreetly, in spite of Valencienne’s desperate offers to take it “to Olga” herself.
On his way to find Olga to return the fan, the Baron meets Danilo, and his diplomatic mission takes precedence over the fan. The Baron orders Danilo to marry Hanna for the good of Pontevedro. Danilo refuses, but offers to eliminate any non-Pontevedrian suitors as a compromise.
As the birthday festivities continue, the “Ladies’ Choice” dance is about to begin and Hanna becomes swarmed with hopeful suitors. Valencienne volunteers Camille to dance with Hanna, privately hoping that the Frenchman will marry her and cease to be a temptation for Valencienne herself. True to his bargain with the Baron, Danilo circulates the ballroom, rounding up ladies to claim dances and thin the crowd around the wealthy widow. Hanna, however, chooses the one man who is not apparently interested in dancing with her: Danilo, who immediately announces that he will sell his dance with her for ten thousand Francs, with the proceeds to benefit charity. This extinguishes the remaining suitors’ interest in the dance. After they have left, Danilo attempts to dance with Hanna, who refuses due to the stunt he pulled. Nonchalantly he proceeds to waltz by himself, eventually wearing down Hanna’s resistance, and she falls into his arms.
Act 2 The next evening, everyone is dressed in Pontevedrian clothing for a garden party at Hanna’s house, now celebrating the King’s birthday in his own country’s fashion. Hanna entertains the guests by singing an old Pontevedrian song. Meanwhile, Baron Zeta fears that Camille will spoil his plan for Hanna to marry a Pontevedrian. Njegus accidentally reveals that Camille is having an affair with a married woman. Still not recognising the fan as Valencienne’s, the Baron orders Danilo to discover the identity of its owner, whom he correctly assumes to be Camille’s married lover. The two men, along with Njegus, arrange to meet that evening in Hanna’s garden pavilion to discuss Danilo’s findings, as well as the problem of securing the widow’s fortune for Pontevedro. Danilo sets out to discover who the fan belongs to, but his inquiries regarding the fan prove fruitless, although they do reveal infidelities committed by some of the wives of embassy personnel. Seeing the fan, Hanna takes the message on it to be Danilo’s declaration of love for her, which he denies.
Later that evening, Camille and Valencienne meet in the garden, where Valencienne insists that they must part. Discovering the fan, accidentally left behind by Danilo, Camille begs Valencienne to let him have it as a keepsake. Valencienne agrees, writing “I am a respectable wife” on it as a rejoinder to Camille’s “I love you.” Camille persuades Valencienne to join him in the pavilion so that they can say their goodbyes in private. This is of course the same pavilion where Danilo, the Baron, and Njegus have agreed to meet, and Njegus, arriving first, locks the door when he spots the two inside. Baron Zeta and Danilo arrive, and the Baron sees his wife with Camille, but Njegus quickly arranges with Hanna to change places with Valencienne. Camille emerges from the pavilion with Hanna, who announces that they plan to marry, leaving the Baron assured of his wife’s fidelity but distraught at the thought of Pontevedro losing Hanna’s millions and Valencienne distraught at losing Camille. Danilo is furious and tells the story of a Princess who cheated on her Prince before he storms off to seek distraction at Maxim’s. Hanna realizes that Danilo’s anger over her engagement to another man proves that he loves her, and she rejoices amid the general despair.
Act 3 At Maxim’s, while the Pontevedrians are entertained by Maxim’s grisettes (can-can dancers), Valencienne has dressed herself as a grisette and joins the dancing and singing. When Danilo arrives, he tells Hanna to give up Camille for the sake of Pontevedro. Much to Danilo’s delight, Hanna replies truthfully that she was never engaged to Camille but was protecting the reputation of a married woman. Danilo comes very close to declaring his love for Hanna, but stops himself from doing so when he remembers her money and his proud refusal to court her for it. Njegus produces the fan, which he picked up earlier, and Valencienne accidentally admits it is hers in front of Baron Zeta. He swears to divorce his wife and marry the widow himself, but Hanna stops him by declaring that she will lose her fortune if she remarries. At this, Danilo promptly confesses his love for her and asks Hanna to marry him. Hanna triumphantly accepts, adding that she will lose her fortune only because it will become the property of her new husband. Valencienne assures Baron Zeta of her fidelity by pointing out her reply to Camille’s declaration of love written on the fan: “I am a respectable wife”. He takes her back and all rejoice at the love between the two couples.