Operetta by Franz Lehár
Libretto by Alfred Maria Willner and Robert Bodanzky
World premiere on November 12, 1909 in Theater an der Wien
Premiere in the Estonian National Opera on January 24, 2020
Performed in Estonian with subtitles in Estonian and English.
Franz Lehár, together with Imre Kálmán, were the leading operetta composers of the first quarter of the 20th century. With its charmingly romantic theme, effective stage action and abundance of spirited and delicate moods “The Count of Luxembourg” gave Franz Lehár every opportunity to display his talent. First premiered with immediate international success in 1909, it makes for timeless entertainment with its most apparent charm, spirit and romanticism. The score, full of catchy waltzes and polkas alternating with lush ballads, makes it easy to understand why it received such warm welcome: 300 consecutive performances in Vienna only, and two years later it was performed in Buenos Aires at five theatres simultaneously.
Prince Basil Basilowitsch may not marry the singer Angèle Didier, unless she bears a title. He therefore arranges for the penniless spendthrift, Count René (Count Luxembourg), to marry a lady whose face he is not to see, and to agree to a divorce three months later. Thus Angèle would receive a title and the Prince would be able to marry her. For this the Count receives the sum of half a million francs. At the wedding ceremony, the Count and his mystery bride are separated by a screen – but later they meet and fall in love. Little knowing that they are already husband and wife, they believe their romance is hopeless. But a happy ending is worked out!