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Metropolitan Opera Broadcast: The Merry Widow 

Radio Broadcast and Live in HD transmission of Saturday, January 17, 2015, 12:55 P.M. (HD), 1 P.M. (Radio)

2 Broadcast Widow 115
The garden of Hanna Glawari’s villa, designed by Julian Crouch, in the Met’s new production of The Merry Widow
The 2014–15 Metropolitan Opera broadcast season is sponsored by
Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®, with generous long-term support from
The Annenberg Foundation, The Neubauer Family Foundation,
the Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media,
and through contributions from listeners worldwide.
 
The 2014–15 Metropolitan Opera broadcast season is sponsored by
Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®, with generous long-term support from
The Annenberg Foundation, The Neubauer Family Foundation,
the Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media,
and through contributions from listeners worldwide.

 

The Merry Widow  

 

Music by Franz Lehár
Libretto by Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, based on the play L’Attaché d’Ambassade, by Henri Meilhac
English translation by Jeremy Sams
THE CAST (in order of vocal appearance)
Vicomte Cascada baritone, JEFF MATTSEY
Baron Mirko Zeta bar., THOMAS ALLEN
Valencienne      soprano, KELLI O’HARA
Sylviane soprano, EMALIE SAVOY
Olga mezzo, WALLIS GIUNTA
Praskowia mezzo, MARGARET LATTIMORE
Camille de Rosillon tenor, ALEK SHRADER
Raoul de St. Brioche tenor, ALEXANDER LEWIS
Kromow bass-baritone, DANIEL MOBBS
Pritschitsch baritone, GARY SIMPSON
Bogdanovitch ten., MARK SCHOWALTER
Njegus actor, CARSON ELROD
Hanna Glawari soprano, RENÉE FLEMING
Danilo baritone, NATHAN GUNN
Maitre d’  actor, JASON SIMON
Lolo soprano, SYNTHIA LINK
Dodo mezzo, ALISON MIXON
Jou-Jou soprano, EMILY PYNENBURG
Frou-Frou mezzo, LEAH HOFMANN
Clo-Clo  mezzo, JENNY LAROCHE
Margot mezzo, CATHERINE HAMILTON
 
Conducted by ANDREW DAVIS

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
The Metropolitan Opera Chorus

Production: Susan Stroman
Set designer: Julian Crouch
Costume designer: William Ivey Long
Lighting designer: Paule Constable
Choreographer: Susan Stroman
Associate choreographer: Joshua Buscher
Chorus master: Donald Palumbo
Assistant choreographer: Lauren Kadel
Musical preparation: Paul Nadler, Thomas
    Bagwell, Joshua Greene, Lydia Brown
Assistant stage director: Daniel Rigazzi,
    Kathleen Smith Belcher
English coach: Erie Mills

Production a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington
    Endowment Fund

THE SCENES (Paris, 1905)Timings (ET) 
ACT IThe Pontevedrian Embassy1:00–1:44
ACT IIHanna's Villa     2:15–
ACT III     Maxim's3:44

Host: Margaret Juntwait
Commentator: Ira Siff
Music producer: Jay David Saks
Producers: Mary Jo Heath, Ellen Keel,
    William Berger
Executive producers: Mia Bongiovanni,
    Elena Park

Directed for Live Cinema by:
Gary Halvorson
HD host: Joyce DiDonato
 
Send quiz questions to:
    Metropolitan Opera Quiz
    Metropolitan Opera
    30 Lincoln Center
    New York, NY 10023
    or e-mail metquiz@metopera.org.
This performance of The Merry Widow will be transmitted live, in high definition and
surround sound, into selected movie theaters as part of The Met: Live in HD series.
For information, visit www.metopera.org/hdlive.

Franz Lehár’s Merry Widow arrived at the Met on February 17, 2000. The current production, the company’s second, marks Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Susan Stroman’s company debut. See our December issue for articles on the composer and the director. 

SYNOPSIS 

ACT I. The Pontevedrian ambassador in Paris, Baron Mirko Zeta, is giving a ball at the embassy. His home country is nearly bankrupt and he hopes that their Parisian guests will help them raise the money they need. He’s pleased when he sees his young wife, Valencienne, flirting with Camille de Rosillon, a young Frenchman, assuming she’s trying to win French support for Pontevedro. In fact, Camille has declared his love for Valencienne and writes “I love you” on her fan. Zeta eagerly awaits the arrival of the guest of honor, Hanna Glawari, a wealthy Pontevedrian widow. He plans to get Danilo Danilovitch, a womanizing aristocrat and the embassy secretary, to marry her so that her millions will stay in Pontevedro. Hanna arrives and is showered with compliments by the Parisian men. Valencienne realizes she has lost her fan with Camille’s incriminating message and rushes out to look for it. Finally Danilo arrives, fresh from a night of partying at Maxim’s. He and Hanna talk, revealing that they were once in love, but that Hanna was considered too far beneath Danilo’s status for him to marry her. He tells her he’s not interested in marriage and will never say “I love you.” Meanwhile, Zeta’s chief of staff, Kromow, finds Valencienne’s fan and thinks it belongs to his wife, Olga. Zeta, wanting to spare Olga the scandal, convinces him it is Valencienne’s. He then meets with Danilo and orders him to marry Hanna for the good of Pontevedro. Danilo tells him he will keep all the Parisian men away from her, but will not marry her. When the ladies choice dance is announced, Hanna selects Danilo, and after some flirtatious bantering the two finally dance.

ACT II. The following day, Hanna hosts a party at her villa. Danilo arrives late, and Zeta commands him to return to his mission of keeping the Parisian men from Hanna — particularly Camille. Danilo’s assistant, Njegus, reveals that Camille is already in love with a mystery woman. Zeta wants to know who she is in order to marry her off to Camille, leaving Hanna free for a Pontevedrian suitor. He believes the fan is the key to her identity and asks Danilo to find its owner. When Hanna comes across the fan and sees its inscription, she assumes it is a gift to her from Danilo, but he still won’t say “I love you” and she will not accept him until he does. Their dance is interrupted by Zeta, who is still trying to learn the identity of Camille’s secret lover. The men agree to meet in the pavilion to discuss the matter. Camille and Valencienne finally find the missing fan, and this time Valencienne writes “I am a respectable wife” on it. Observed by Njegus, they disappear into the pavilion. When Zeta arrives to meet Danilo, Njegus prevents him from entering the pavilion to protect Valencienne’s secret and instead sneaks Hanna in to take her place. Hanna emerges with Camille, announcing their engagement. A furious Danilo departs for Maxim’s, which Hanna takes as proof of his love.

ACT III. Arriving at Maxim’s in search of Danilo, Camille and Valencienne sneak off to one of the private rooms. Zeta and the other Pontevedrians appear, and the grisettes — among them a dressed-up Valencienne — entertain the crowd. Eventually both Danilo and Hanna arrive. He forbids her to marry Camille. When she explains that she was merely safeguarding another woman’s reputation, he is delighted but still won’t declare his love. As the guests reassemble, Danilo announces that Hanna will not marry Camille, but he will not reveal the identity of Camille’s secret lover. Njegus produces the missing fan, which he found in the pavilion. Zeta finally recognizes it as his wife’s, declares himself divorced, and proposes to Hanna — who informs him that, according to her late husband’s will, she will lose her fortune if she remarries. At this, the other men lose interest in Hanna, except Danilo, who finally declares his love and asks Hanna to marry him. She accepts and amends her account of the will: upon remarrying her fortune will pass to her new husband. Valencienne returns and asks Zeta to read the other side of her fan — she is a respectable wife. With the couples united, the men are left to wonder about the mystery of women. spacer  

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