When writing about the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of The Merry Widow starring the great Renée Fleming, the Huffington Post says:
“It is hard to imagine a merrier widow than Renée Fleming, and she swirls through the Metropolitan Opera’s sumptuous new production of Franz Lehar’s popular operetta…”
If last week’s opera broadcast at ArtSpring, The Barber of Seville, was a good place to start for opera debutants then The Merry Widow by Franz Lehár is even more so for anyone interested in venturing into the opera world.
The production, which is in English and broadcast live at ArtSpring on Saturday, January 17th at 10:00 a.m., stars opera superstar Renée Fleming and Kelli O’Hara, the Broadway star in her MET debut. This operetta is presented in English and comes complete with can-can dancing (ever so slightly risqué), elaborate costumes, gorgeous singing and romantic characters.
The story centers on the poverty-stricken Grand Duchy of Pontevedro. Hanna Glawari (the Merry Widow played by Renée Fleming) who has been left 20 million francs by her late husband. The officials of Pontevedro are desperate to marry her off to another Pontevedrian thereby keeping her fortune in the country and saving Pontevedro from bankruptcy.
Into the story comes Hanna’s former lover Count Danilo Danilovitsch, the First Secretary of the Pontevedrian embassy. They are obviously still in love but Danilo refuses to court Hanna because of her fortune and Hanna vows she will not marry him until he says “I love you”.
Moving from one extravagant gala party scene to another with gorgeous gardens in between, this story of love lost and re-found is lighthearted and entertaining. This is a delightful way to spend your Saturday morning! Also, enjoy some pastries from Brigitte of Rendezvous Patisserie and coffee from Salt Spring Coffee at the intermission.
For tickets to the Saturday, January 17th 10am broadcast, call the ArtSpring Box Office at 537-2102 or visit http://www.tickets.artspring.ca. $21.95 Adult; $18.95 Senior; $12.95 Youth.