The Lyric Stage has The Countess Maritza Highlights Sunday Septemeber 12
This week we have selection's from Emerich Kalman's operetta "The Countess Maritza." The operetta takes place in Vienna in 1924, where for many people money was a problem, and so it is in this operetta. Maritza is a wealthy land-owner who is constantly under siege by impoverished noblemen who want to marry her. To protect herself from these gold diggers, she makes up a fiancé, the fictitious Baron Koloman Zsupán (a character from Johann Strauss’s “Der Zigeunerbaron”). To Maritza’s surprise a lovelorn baron of that very name turns up to claim Maritza as his fiancée. Meanwhile, Maritza is falling in love with one of her staff, the bailiff Bela Törek, who is in reality Count Tassilo, an impoverished nobleman who has become a bailiff to pay off his father’s debts and amass enough money for a dowry for his sister Lisa, who also shows up. The usual confusion ensues. People think Lisa is the Count's mistress, etc., but it all sorts out - Lisa marries the fake Baron and Tasillio and the Countess Maritza wed and live happily.
The composer Emerich Kalman's dates were 1882 to 1953. His librettists for "The Countess Maritz" were Jules Brammer and Alfred Grunwald, and the conductor for the first performance was 22 year old Anton Paulik, who also conducts the performance we have for you this week, which was recorded in 1960. The Cast is headed Herbert Prikopa as the Count and Marika Nemeth as Maritza. Others are Sonja Draksler are Peter Minich, the Grosstadt Children's choir, the Elemer Horvath Gypsy band, and the Vienna Volksoper Chorus and Orchestra.