Lehár: The Merry Widow / Kenny, Skovhus, Kirchschlager

Release Date: 8/19/2003
Label: Opus Arte
Catalog Number: OA 0837D
Composer: Franz Lehár
Conductor: Erich Kunzel
Orchestra/Ensemble: San Francisco Opera Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

In Stock
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Sung in English

Region Code: All regions
Picture format: 16/9 Anamorphic
Sound format: Dolby Digital stereo, Dolby 5.1 surround
Menu languages: English
Subtitles: French/German/Spanish
Running time: 120 minutes

"It's a wonderfully rich piece of musical theatre, of course gorgeous melodies but also the story touches on some real basic truths about human relationships" -- Director Lotfi Mansouri

BBC Opus Arte are proud to release Lotfi Mansouri's spectacular last production as General Director of The San Francisco Opera with Yvonne Kenny making her debut in the title role of the Merry Widow. To bring fresh insight into Lehár's classic operetta new dialogue was specially commissioned from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Wendy Wasserstein. Also an original ballet was composed to set the scene 'Chez Maxime.' This production also features another world premiere, Njegus's song "Quite Parisian" although Lehár in fact, wrote it later.

Extra Features:
* Illustrated Synopsis
* Cast Gallery
* "Impressions" - Lotfi Mansouri, Yvonne Kenny, Bo Skovhus, Angelika Kirchschlager and Gregory Turay discuss The Merry Widow.
* Illustrated booklet with an essay by Camille Crittenden examining what insight the Merry Widow gives into women's roles in fin-de-siecle Vienna.


‘A production that deftly captures the sparkle and eroticism of Lehar’s music. I love it. Under Erich Kunzel, the orchestra brings out all the sparkle and eroticism of Lehár's bewitching melodies and orchestrations. Best of all, perhaps, are Michael Yeargan's sets and Thierry Bosquet's costumes. The gently varied range of colours as the curtain rises on the Widow's lamp-lit Act 2 party is quite simply breathtaking, and Act 3, too, is a riot of colour. Enjoy!’ The Gramophone

‘Mansouri’s staging, lavishly kitted out in elegant Jugendstil sets and costumes by Michael Yeargan and Thierry Bosquet, achieves the rare feat of bringing off the work’s unique mix of boulevard farce and sophisticated eroticism.’ The Independent

‘…this is about as lavish a production of Franz Lehár’s adorable operetta as you are ever likely to see…soprano Yvonne Kenny is perfectly cast in the title role.’ Classic FM Magazine

‘Michael Yeargan’s glamorous and beautifully-wrought designs and Thierry Bosquet’s extravagant costumes. We see all too little of this kind of splendour in these cash-strapped days.’ Opera

"Franz Lehar's immortal Merry Widow is presented here in a San Francisco Opera production recorded during a performance Dec. 8, 2001 at the War Memorial Opera House. New dialogue from Pulitzer Prize-winning playright Wendy Wasserstein adds to the production as does an original ballet during the 'Chez Maxim' scene. The entire cast is superb, with soprano Yvonne Kenny singing the title role for the first time and doing so brilliantly. Angelika Kirschschlager, who already has to her credit a superb SACD of Bach arias (REVIEW), is wonderful as Valencienne. In addition to fine singing throughout, all of the singers are attractive, the many stretches of dialogue spoken with style. Everything about this production is first-rate, the beautiful sets and costumes are perfect, camera work exemplary, and the Dolby digital surround sound totally natural." - CLASSICAL CD REVIEW
Works on This Recording
1. Die lustige Witwe by Franz Lehár
Performer: Gregory Turay (Tenor), Bo Skovhus (Baritone), Yvonne Kenny (Soprano), Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor: Erich Kunzel
Orchestra/Ensemble: San Francisco Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1905 ; Vienna, Austria
Customer Reviews