Wiener Blut (operetta)

Wiener Blut (operetta)

Wiener Blut (Viennese Blood or Viennese Spirit) is the name of an operetta named after the "Wiener Blut" waltz with music by the composer Johann Strauss the Younger, who did not live to witness the première. Such was the popularity of the original 'Wiener Blut' op.354 waltz till the time of the composer's death that his work would be chosen as the name of the operetta with libretto by Victor Léon and Leo Stein set around the Vienna Congress of 1814 to 1815. Strauss did not specifically compose any music for this operetta, although many of Strauss' earlier compositions were incorporated for the work. The new operetta premiéred at the Carltheater on 26 October 1899, almost five months after Strauss' demise.

Franz Jauner staged this costly project. Jauner anticipated great success at its premiére but was dejected when the work only survived 30 consecutive performances before making way for Sidney Jones' critically acclaimed operetta The Geisha. On 23 February 1900, Jauner shot himself at his desk at the Carltheater after his financial gamble with Wiener Blut failed, effectively bankrupting him.

After five years, however, the famed Theater an der Wien mounted a production of the operetta. With a slightly different libretto and musical arrangement, it caught the public eye and has since retained its popularity on stages around the world. It must be noted that Strauss himself took no active part in the musical arrangement at its conception nor any production work leading up to its première at the Carltheater. He was content to delegate these tasks to Adolf Müller junior as he himself was busy with his ballet, Aschenbrödel in 1898.

In 2007 English Touring Opera performed a new concert production of Wiener Blut at venues throughout the United Kingdom.

Roles

  • Balduin, Count Zedlau tenor
  • Franziska Cagliari soprano
  • Prince Ypsheim-Gindelbach baritone
  • Gabriele, Countess Zedlau soprano
  • Josef tenor
  • Kagler bass
  • Pepi Pleininger soprano

References

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