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Die lustige Witwe

Opéra Bastille
Paris

From 18 October to 21 October 2017

Opera
La-Veuve Joyeuse © Julien Benhamou / OnP
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Die lustige Witwe - Lehár

Die lustige Witwe - Lehár

Opéra national de Paris

 

Category Premium : seats in Category + (Optima), a glass of champagne per person in private rooms and one programme per booking.

Program

  • Lehár : Die lustige Witwe

Performers

  • Conductor : Jakub Hrusa

  • Conductor : Marius Stieghorst

  • Director : Jorge Lavelli

Premium Offer

Opéra national de Paris

 

Category Premium : seats in Category + (Optima), a glass of champagne per person in private rooms and one programme per booking.

  • Seating plan
  • Venue Info
  • Synopsis

Seating plan are subject to change depending on performances

Opéra Bastille

Address : Place de la Bastille, 75012 Paris France

Capacity :

2745 seats

Other information :

From its beginnings under Louis XIV to the present day, including the construction of the Palais Gamier under Napoleon III, the history of the Paris Opera has been marked by the wishes and whims of the French government. The decision to build a new opera on the Place de la Bastille is no exception, made by Frangois Mitterrand less than a year after being elected President. A competition was organized, and of the 750 projects presented, the one designed by the Uruguayan-Canadian architect Carl Ott won. The new building, whose large ground surface ostentatiously marks the site where the French Revolution broke out, was inaugurated during the bicentennial celebrations of that same Revolution in 1989.

 

From the Place de la Bastille, the building's glass facade, with its "aleatory" lighting designed by Yann Kersale, suggests the sober modernism of its interior, even more so because the interior uses the same construction materials as the exterior, symbolizing a desire to open out to the public. Once inside, one can discover the warmth of the light wood that adorns the large 2703-seat hall with its proscenium stage. But the building barely stops here, for one must imagine the enormous backstage that takes up 55 per cent of the edifice's total volume, the six underground stories of technical premises, the workshops that make and stock the mobile sets as well as the costumes, not to mention the Gounod Hall, that has a stage identical to the main one, used for rehearsals. Designed around a symmetrical axis that is symbolized by the sculpted tuning forks that decorate the public premises, the Bastille Opera is a formidable computerized machine for staging opera productions, employing the population of a veritable city-within-a-city.

 

The conductor Myung-Whun Chung faced the difficult task of starting up this machine. The audience discovered productions staged by Bob Wilson or Peter Sellars, which it did not always unanimously applaud. But today, in full possession of its impressive technical means, permitting the rotation of different productions, the Bastille Opera proposes the most diverse performances. Currently managed by Hugues Gall and his music director James Conlon, revivals, premieres and major productions now share the season's billing, at a pace that leaves the audience little respite.

Since 2014, Stépahne Lissner is the Director of the Paris Opera.

DIE LUSTIGE WITWE OR THE MERRY WIDOW, A BEAUTIFUL OPERETTA

Franz Lehár's classic light opera is a comedic work focusing on eternal themes of romance, financial interest and personal happiness.

The Austro-Hungarian composer's work was originally scripted in German and was known as Die lustige Witwe. Based on Henri Meilhac's 1861 comedy play L'attaché d'ambassade, the operetta could be said to be a truly European work. Since its rapturous Vienna première in 1905, the work has seen countless translations, adaptations and revivals. The French La veuve Joyeuse and the English 'The Merry Widow' are among the best known of these alternate versions.

HISTORY

The light comedy opera of Die lustige Witwe is set in the French capital of 1905. The story focuses on the attempts by the nobility of the fictional province of Pontevedro to secure the riches of the widow in question, a Hanna Glawari. Making great use of situational comedy, misunderstandings and awkward chance meetings, the opera features a host of memorable scenes and musical pieces that remain just as popular today as they were over a hundred years ago.

Act 1

The first act of Die lustige Witwe sets up the central problems of the whole piece. The wealthy widow Hanna and attaché to the ambassador Danilo Danilovitsch are still in love from a youthful affair that took place before Hanna's marriage. However, neither of them can admit it, as Danilo does not wish to be labelled as a gold hunter and Hanna will only marry him when she hears the words 'I love you'.

Act 2

The second act takes place during a grand Pontevedrian costume party at Hanna's Paris mansion. Another set of possible lovers takes the stage, the ambassador Zeta's much younger wife Valencienne and the French Count de Rosillon, Camille. When these two are caught enjoying a brief rendezvous, Hanna bravely switches places with Valencienne and declares her love for Camille. Danilo overhears this and storms off in rage to his favourite Paris bistro, Maxim's.

Act 3

Hoping to lure Danilo back to her, Hanna transforms her home into the interior design of Maxim's. When he arrives she confesses that her engagement to Camille was a bluff and they both declare their love for each other. Valencienne meanwhile manages to convince Zeta of her fidelity, while Hanna joyfully declares that her fortune will be given over to her next husband, the delighted Danilo.


MAIN ROLES

Hanna Glawari, a wealthy widow, soprano
Count Danilo Danilovitsch, First Secretary
of the embassy and Hanna's former lover, tenor or lyric baritone
Baron Mirko Zeta, the Ambassador, baritone
Valencienne, Baron Zeta's wife, soprano
Camille, Count de Rosillon, French attaché
to the embassy, the Baroness's admirer, tenor
Njegus, the Embassy Secretary, spoken

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