Those who have once experienced the intoxicating effect of Lehar's operettas will unmistakably recognise its Austro-Hungarian-French spirit.
"Operetta is pastime, an amusing entertainment!", says Monika Wiesler, director of this production known to our audiences through her previous LNOBT productions of "Wiener Blut" and "Les contes d'Hoffmann". Put your troubles behind and come to this operetta. And don't take it too seriously!
What this operetta is about? "When lips turn silent, violins utter: do love me…", sing the characters of The Merry Widow. Let this catchy violin tune guide you through all the amorous perplexities and adventures of this operetta.
After its premiere at the Theater an der Wien on 30 December 1905, "Die lustige Witwe" turned out one of the most commercially successful and universally appealing operettas of all time. In its first few years "The Merry Widow" became a veritable forest fire, whose success swept throughout continental Europe.
First produced in London in 1907, it received 778 performances attended by nearly a million people, and their king, Edward VII, was four times among them! Performed over 5000 times in the USA, it received five simultaneous productions in five languages in Buenos Aires.
"The Merry Widow" made Franz Lehar internationally famous, and triggered a brisk sideline of "Merry Widow" products - hats, bonnets, corsets, cigarettes and cocktails.
"The Merry Widow" has, for almost one hundred years now, broken box-office records, receiving over 250 000 performances in 25 different languages all over the world, as well as countless recordings, films and television features (among them were some rather bizarre formats for an operetta, such as a silent 14-minute film shot in Sweden in 1907), full-length ballets, ice-show, etc. - no medium yet devised has not featured this 'queen of operettas'.
Although repeatedly staged at the music theatres in Kaunas (where it has received a total of 6 productions!) and Klaipeda, "The Merry Widow " mounted the LNOBT's stage for the first time.
Premiere: 31 December 2003