The stylish scent of Vienna wafts through the air in this gala operetta
"Merry Merry Widow" Festival Version
At this year's National Arts Festival ceremony, the New National Theatre, Tokyo (NNTT), will present a rather merry work entitled "Merry Merry Widow" Festival Version, which is based on the operetta The Merry Widow.
Operettas, also known as light opera, were popular in late 19th-century Vienna and combine the most appealing elements of opera and theatre. An operetta promises the audience something different than they find in an opera: there is always a happy ending. The operettas invitation to laugh at our pent-up feelings despite the many problems in the world has found a sympathetic and appreciative audience ever since that time.
NNTT is offering this performance in the hope that together with the audience we will be able to drive away the dark clouds and find a way to merrily overcome these difficult times.
The performance will feature Nakajima Akiko, who spent many years at Volksoper Wien, as well as a number of distinguished young singers who are alumni of the NNT Opera Studio training program and who are today drawing attention for their performances both at NNTT and at other companies. These artists are working together with conductor Genda Shigeo to create a production that is replete with style and wit.
NNTT hopes that you will enjoy what promises to be a stylish and entertaining performance befitting the opening celebration of the National Arts Festival.
A party is being held in Paris at the embassy of the small nation of Pontevedro. The ambassador, Baron Zeta, is concerned that a beautiful young widow named Hanna, who has recently inherited a large sum from her late husband, might remarry with a man from another country and take her fortune out of her native Pontevedro. To ensure that does not happen, he schemes to get Hanna to marry an embassy employee named Danilo. The two had been in love when they were younger, but the gap in their social positions kept them apart. When Hanna and Danilo meet again, they maneuver about, sounding out each other's feelings, but their attempts to reunite are complicated by a Parisian dandy named Camille, who appears with his sights set on Hanna's fortune. Nonetheless, after many twists and turns, the couple is happily united in the end.
The embassy scene in Act I features performances of folk music masterpieces. In Act II, the elaborately crafted scene warps from a party at Hanna's residence to a party at the residence of Prince Orlofsky of Die Fledermaus. Drawn by the coquettish voice, Violetta from La Traviatta also makes an appearance. Then, before you know it, you are back at the lively party at Hanna's residence.