A Vivid Widow at the Volksoper

Annette Fritsch, 38, is a biting diva supporting Daniel Felhardt's Count Danilo Danilovich, who is very mature. But two stage seniors are more vigorous than old and make a beautiful pair in their third spring. Actually, the pensioner version of “widow” makes perfect sense. The reunion of two ex-lovers who must now marry to save Pontevedro's fictitious principal from destruction seems more logical given the decades between childhood love and adulthood.

Clement, who will conduct Offenbach's “Les Contes d'Hoffmann” at this year's Salzburg festival, sets the event in the 1950s. To this end, stage designer Julia Hansen uses petticoats and quiffs and uses blue velvet curtains and a revolving stage to create quick-changing play areas. However, the utilization of these possibilities is sometimes somewhat half-hearted.

For example, when the assembled men in a spinning position suggest elements of classic cross-dressing, “Yeah, it's hard to read women,” the whole thing isn't really carried over. Using slapstick classics such as a lampshade that serves as a hiding place when placed upside down should appear paradoxically broken to catch fire.

Meanwhile, dialogues are renewed, which is the responsibility of group member Jacob Semoden, who retains the usual alcohol and romantic jokes. Except for running gags that are sometimes used a bit extravagantly, such as the endless repetition of the phrase “that's just the way it is”. That's all.” There are also flowers, such as the widow, “It is honorable to inherit the fatherland. The old have money and can celebrate, while the young or the king watch their fingers. The operetta genre proves surprisingly current.

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(By Martin Fichter-Wöß/APA)

(Service – “The Merry Widow” by Franz Lehr, Volksoper, Wahringer Belt 78, 1090 Vienna. Music: Ben Glasberg, Direction: Mariam Klement, Stage/Costumes: Julia Hansen, Lighting: Alex Brock. Schmon Smaza, Valencienne – Hedwig Ritter , Hanna Glawari – Anett Fritsch, Danilo Danilowitsch – Daniel Fehlhard, Njegus – Jakob Semotan, Camille de Rosillon – Aaron Casey Gould, Vicomte Cascada – Michael Havlicek, Roul de Robertochetneck – Robertochetneck – , Sylviane – Elisabeth Schwarz, Kromow – Nicolaus Hagg, Olga – Sofia Vinnik, Pritschitsch – Daniel Ohlenschläger, Praskowia – Brigitte Kren, Lolo – Burcu Kurt, Dodo – Tatiana Sokolova, Jou-Jou, Frouic-Frouic-Selo- Glo-Glo – Katarina Ikonomou, Margot – Sarah Klavishnik. More performances March 6 , 9 and 25 and on April 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14. )

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