Die Lustige Witwe

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(Redirected from The Merry Widow)

Die Lustige Witwe (or The Merry Widow) is a musical comedy or operetta of 1905, by the Austro-Hungarian composer, Franz Lehár. Well-known music from the score includes the song "Vilia" and "The Merry Widow Waltz". The story concerns a rich widow, Anna Glawari, and Count Danilo Danilovistch provides the romantic interest.

Anna Glawari has inherited twenty million francs from her late husband and Baron Zeta is instructed that her fortune must not leave the impoverished kingdom. To ensure she marries another Pontevedrian, Zeta sends N'jegus, his factotum, to fetch Count Danilo from Maxim's. Zeta's wife Valancienne, flirts with Camille but protests that she is a respectable wife while flattered by the ardent lover who writes on her fan 'I love you'. Anna encourages Danilo, recognising him as the young soldier whose uncle had interrupted their affair years ago. The old love revives, but Danilo will not court her for her fortune and she vows she will not marry him until he says 'I love you'. Ostensibly to save the country, Danilo looks for a suitable Pontevedrian husband for Anna and even Camille is encouraged by Valancienne, as a cover, to court the widow.

Zeta fears Camille to be a danger and, hearing that he is involved with a married woman, orders Danilo to trace her. To help, he gives him a fan he has found, none other than Valancienne's with the incriminating inscription. Danilo is careless with the fan and Anna thinks he has left it for her to find with its message. Camille meets Valancienne in the summerhouse, Zeta peeps through a keyhole and recognises his own wife. Anna changes places with Valancienne, confounding the Baron when they appear. Anna announces that she is to marry Camille, Zeta is distraught at the thought of losing the Pontevedrian millions and Danilo seeks the attractions of Maxim's.

Danilo, having been tricked by being led blindfold into a party where Valancienne entertains as a Grisette, tells Anna to give up Camille for the sake of the country. She agrees, much to Danilo's delight. Zeta swears to divorce his wife, on the discovery of the fan, and marry the widow himself but Anna tells him that she loses her fortune if she re-marries. Hearing this, Danilo confesses his love for her and Anna points out that she will lose her fortune because it will become the property of her husband (so much for equal rights!!). Valancienne produces the fan and assures Zeta of her fidelity by reading out what she had replied to Camille's declaration: "I'm a highly respectable wife"; and all ends happily.de:Die lustige Witwe es:Die lustige witwe no:Den glade enke


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