Die lustige Witwe

(The Merry Widow) by Franz Lehár


After thirty years, Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow) by Franz Lehár is back at La Fenice.

The three-act operetta based on a libretto by Victor Léon and Leo Stein will be staged with a new production by the Fondazione Teatro La Fenice, coproduced with Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, with direction by Damiano Micheletto, sets by Paolo Fantin, costumes by Carla Teti and light design by Alessandro Carletti. The Fenice Orchestra and Choir will be conducted by Stefano Montanari. In original language with overtitles in Italian and English, the operetta will be staged during the Carnival period, on 2, 4, 8, 10 and 13 February 2018. The performance on Thursday 8 February at 19.00 will be broadcast live on Rai Radio3.

Based on Henri Meilhac’s comedy L’Attaché d’ambassade from 1861, Die lustige Witwe debuted at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on 30 December 1905, under the guidance of Franz Lehàr himself (1870-1948). Of Hungarian origins, at the time the Austrian composer had not yet achieved success. As a result, the theatre management was rather sceptical regarding the outcome of the new production, and only agreed to a one that used very few means; they unwillingly accepted the author’s request for a complete orchestra with harp, glockenspiel and musicians on the stage, which was much more lavish than was usual at the time. The debut met with scant success – so much so that famous sentence the critics and the theatre itself uttered to the composer at the end of the performance went down in history – “take no offence, this is not music”; however, with each repeat performance its success grew until it exploded, and with it Lehàr’s international renown. Today, The Merry Widow is one of the most frequently staged performances in the world, and has become synonymous with operetta.

Usually staged with the Italian translation, this great operetta classic will be performed in the original language and with a mother tongue cast. “The operetta in Italian immediately becomes an operetta in the negative sense of the word, with prejudices”, explained the director Damiano Michieletto, who is presenting his seventh production at La Fenice. “In the original it is taken more seriously, the audience has to take a step forward if they are to understand. Translated into Italian the operetta seems slightly frivolous. One thinks: well, there’s dancing and singing. I left these elements so the story emerges. And the plot is about money: there is a wealthy heiress and everyone is eyeing her money.” And the direction includes several current issues, in particular “the theme of small investors who find themselves without any savings from one day to the next, and the dream of easy solutions […] The plot starts with the state bank of Montenegro, a small bank that is competing with the others. The ambassador becomes the bank manager who is asking the investors to save it, he wants one of the clients to marry the heiress.”

In the main roles, the cast includes the soprano Nadja Mchantaf as the wealth heiress Hanna Glawari and the baritone Christoph Pohl as Count Danilo Danilowitsch; Franz Hawlata in the role of Baron Zeta, the soprano Adriana Ferfecka as Valencienne, and Karl-Heinz Macek as Njegus.



Hanna Glawari ⎮ Nadja Mchantaf
Danilo Danilowitsch ⎮ Christoph Pohl
Valencienne ⎮ Adriana Ferfecka
Kromow ⎮ Willam Corrò
Mirko Zeta ⎮ Franz Hawlata
Cascada ⎮ Simon Schnorr
Camille de Rossillon ⎮ Konstantin Lee
Raoul de St-Brioche ⎮ Marcello Nardis
Bogdanowitsch ⎮ Roberto Maietta
Sylviane ⎮ Martina Bortolotti
Olga ⎮ Zdislava Bočková
Pritschitsch ⎮ Nicola Ziccardi
Praskowia ⎮ Daniela Baňasová
Niegus ⎮ Karl-Heinz Macek
Lolo ⎮ Alessandra Calamassi
Dodo ⎮ Mariateresa Notarangelo
Jou-Jou ⎮ Rossella Contu
Frou-Frou ⎮ Alessandra Gregori
Clo-Clo ⎮ Chiara Lucia Graziano
Margot ⎮ Krizia Picci

Conductor  ⎮Stefano Montanari

Director ⎮ Damiano Michieletto
Sets ⎮ Paolo Fantin
Costumes | Carla Teti
Light designer | Alessandro Carletti
Choreography | Chiara Vecchi

La Fenice Choir & Orchestra
Chorus Master | Claudio Marino Moretti

La Fenice Opera House new production
with Fondazione Teatro dell’Opera di Roma

english surtitles


La Vedova Allegra

Repeats every day until Sun Feb 04 2018 except Sat Feb 03 2018. Also includes Sun Feb 04 2018, Thu Feb 08 2018, Sat Feb 10 2018, Tue Feb 13 2018.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Paid admission

Friday, February 2, 2018 7 pm

Sunday, February 4, 3.30 pm

Thursday, February 8, 7 pm

Saturday, February 10, 3.30 pm

Tuesday, February 13, 7 pm


Prices from € 15 to € 220

Call Center halloVenezia +39 041 24 24

Tickets can be purchased at the La Fenice Theater ticket office or at the Vela Venezia Unica sales points in Piazzale Roma, Tronchetto, Ferrovia, Piazza San Marco, Rialto, Accademia, Mestre