Opera Scotland

Lustige Witwe 1949Jack Hylton Ltd

Read more about the opera Merry Widow

Jack Hylton's lavish staging of The Merry Widow had toured the country in 1945, successfully cheering the immediate post-war audiences.  In 1949, with the years of austerity showing no imminent end, it must have been just as popular.

The designs by Ernest Stern (sets) and William Chappell (costumes) were much as before.  The Covent Garden ballet star Robert Helpmann was still credited with the choreography, though the essential Can-Can was now in the hands of Dorothy McAusland.  An additional indication of post-war austerity is the credit given to Kayser-Bondor, suppliers of 'Nylons'.

The continuing eccentricity is the continued use of the English version created in Edwardian times by Basil Hood and Adrian Ross.  This continued the odd practice of the wholsale renaming of most of the characters.  So Hanna became Sonia, Baron Mirko Zeta and his wife Valencienne were renamed Baron Popoff and Natalie, and so on.  Even the country of Pontevedro was renamed Marsovia.  Frther details of these changes are described under the 1945 tour.

The original names were revealed to British audience when a touring Viennese company visited in 1954.  The enduringly popular Sadler's Wells Opera production of 1958 employed a new translation with the correct nomenclature.  For the cast list below we have reinstated the authentic names of characters.

The details are taken from a programme in the OperaScotland collection.

Performance Cast

Baron Mirko Zeta Pontevedrian Ambassador in Paris

Norman Griffin

Valencienne Zeta's wife

Anna Claire

Count Danilo Danilowitsch Secretary to the legation, reserve cavalry lieutenant

Frank Leighton

Hanna Glawari a wealthy young widow

Olga Gwynne

Camille de Rosillon

Carl Sedlo

Vicomte Cascada

Terry Blair

Raoul de St Brioche

Leonard Mac'Krill

Bogdanowitsch Pontevedrian Consul

Frank Cariello

Sylviane wife of Bogdanowitsch

Helen Keene

Kromow Counsellor to the Pontevedrian legation

Charles Peters

Olga wife of Kromow

Jean Arnold

Praskowia wife of Pritschitsch

Fedora Roselli

Njegus Chancery Clerk at the Embassy

Billy Tasker

Head Waiter at Maxim's

Derek Ware Bentham

Frou-Frou a grisette

Greta Unger

Performance DatesLustige Witwe 1949

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

7 Nov, 19.30 8 Nov, 19.30 9 Nov, 14.30 9 Nov, 19.30 10 Nov, 19.30 11 Nov, 19.30 12 Nov, 12.30 12 Nov, 19.30

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