Opera Scotland

Gipsy Princess 1931Douglas Eley

Read more about the opera Gipsy Princess

The English adaptation of Kalman's big hit, first seen in London in 1921, takes extensive liberties with the various characters' identities. This was standard practice with the presentation of Viennese operettas at the time, and will not have concerned the audience.

Sylva Varescu, the title role, loses her surname,and is surrounded by comparative strangers. Her elderly admirer becomes merely Count Feri, while her manager, the impresario Count Boni Káncsiánu disappears altogether, no doubt because of his exotic name. Much of his part is retained in the new guise of a visiting Englishman, Lord Boniface (though if the new name is to be pronounced 'Bonny Face' maybe there is scope to infer that he's actually a comic Scotsman).

Her aristocratic admirer and his relations also undergo changes. In the original, young Prince Edwin Ronald tries to outmanoeuvre his parents, Prince Leopold Maria and Princess Anhilte. Their names now alter, so that Prince Edwin and his wife Anita try to impose discipline on their son Ronald. Leopold Maria disappears altogether. The cousin Eugen loses his military position.

Other minor changes in the English version include the anonymous nightclub manager and violinist being given names, Niblo and Rinaldo, respectively. The other characters are thinned out, with only two named Variety Girls and one gentleman, though this may be a necessary result of touring in the thirties. Other characters seem to be adjusted at will. We adapt the cast below so that major roles, at least, conform to the original pattern.

Cast details are taken from a copy of the programme in the Edinburgh Room (Edinburgh City Library).

Performance Cast

Sylva Varescu a cabaret artiste 'The Gipsy Princess'

Ena Riess

Feri von Kerekes an old habitué of the Cabaret, known as 'Feri bácsi'

Paddy Dupres

Lord Boniface an English visitor

Reg Palmer

Prince Edwin Ronald son of Prince Leopold

Frank Webster

Lieutenant Eugen von Rohnsdorff Edwin's cousin

Anthony Gordon

Prince Leopold Maria of Lippert-Weylersheim

Wallace Court

Princess Anhilte Prince Leopold's wife

Joan Byford

Countess Stasi Prince Leopold's niece

Anne Bolt


Henry Hanson

Nitch a lawyer

Harold Lloyd


Bernard Ryder

Kiss a Notary

Hector Thomas

Von Merö a gentleman

Bert Cowie

Juliska a Variety Girl

Enid Lowe

Cleo a Variety Girl

Jeanette Lewthwaite

Hotel Manager

James Lomas

Solo Violinist in the cabaret

John Borelli

Performance DatesGipsy Princess 1931

Map List

Empire Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

5 Oct, 19.45 6 Oct, 19.45 7 Oct, 19.45 8 Oct, 19.45 9 Oct, 19.45 10 Oct, 14.30 10 Oct, 19.45

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