foto © Michele Crosera
Franz Lehár, Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow)
Venice, Teatro la Fenice, 2 February 2018
The Widow is always Merry, even without sequins and ostrich feathers
It was Hitler’s favourite piece of music, Alma Mahler hummed its melodies to her husband and Shostakovich quoted it in his Seventh Symphony.
Yet, before its debut on 30 December 1905, Die lustige Witwe still had to face the incomprehension of the Theater an der Wien’s director who, with his Viennese accent, stated “Das ist ka’ Musik!” (But this is not music!). He had to change his mind later when Lehár’s work reached 500 performances in his theatre and found fame abroad…