Viennese spirit

Johann Strauss-fiul

  • World premiere
  • Carltheater din Viena, 26 octombrie 1899
  • Romanian Opera Craiova Premiere
  • 4 iunie 2015
  • Time Length
  • aprox. 3h, 20’– trei pauze
  • Extra info
  • Spectacol în limba română

Operetta in three acts by Johann Strauss II.

Libretto by Viktor Léon and Leo Stein.

The action takes place in Vienna.


The prime minister of the Reuss-Scheiz-Greiz Principality, Vercingetorix – prince of Gindelbach, arrives to Vienna looking for the ambassador of the principality to the Austrian capital, in order to solve some state-related issues. However, Edward – Count Zedlau is more concerned with his extra-marital elopements than the arrival of the prime minister. Joseph, Edward’s valet, is worried that he cannot find his master in the refuge villa, where he had secretly told him he would come to be with Franzi Cagliari, his mistress, a former dancer. Rosa, who acts as Franzi’s “occasional mother”, tries to get some information on the countess from him. After Joseph’s departure, Kagler arrives. He is Franzi’s father, a popular bohemian artist. Their discussion reveals that a party is taking place that night at the house of count Bitovsky, where he will go as a trumpet player in Lanner’s orchestra. Always looking for money, Kagler has a fine humour and is always ready to set someone up. Edward arrives at the villa and confesses to Joseph his passion for Pepi, “a young lady in the tailor’s craft”, unaware that she and Joseph are in love. In order to test Pepi or rather in order to be able to follow his master’s plans, Joseph suggest that Edward may meet her at the popular parties in Hietzing. After he dictates a love note to the valet, where, declaring his sudden love, he invites Pepi to Hietzing, Edward leaves. Pepi arrives with Franzi’s dress. However, she had previously agreed with Franzi that she would be the one to wear it and show up at the ball as the dancer Cagliari. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Joseph invites Pepi to Hietzing. After they leave, under the storm of offenses shouted by the cab driver, to whom they refuse to pay an additional two pennies, the prime minister also arrives at the villa. He is the typical aristocrat whose position and fortune are combined with silliness. Kagler introduces Franzi as the count’s wife. Through his “diplomatic” way of seeing things, Vercingetorix concludes that the woman Edward was with in the morning (Gabriela, actually) is the count’s mistress and from now on he shall act accordingly. Thus, he informs the supposed countess what are her husband’s interests. Franzi is intent on finding out who has abducted the count and will try to identify her rival at count Bitovsky’s party. Since she does not want to have her reputation damaged by an overly amorous husband, Gabriela is looking for Edward to demand an explanation. The situation precipitates as Vercingetorix and Franzi arrive. The countess spiritedly asks the minister to introduce the mistress as his wife. Since the latter had understood that Gabriela was the count’s mistress, he introduces her to Franzi as his wife and leaves with Gabriela, leaving Edward with Franzi. Thus, the first act ends with an imminent scandal.

ACT II takes place at the party of count Bitovsky, where all the protagonists of the plot are present. Showing a lot of sensitivity and warmth, Gabriela tries to save Edward from the situation he has gotten into, but does not succeed. Edward skilfully settles the conflict with his wife and dominates the others’ confusion on the mysterious dancer Cagliari. The “fine diplomat” Vercingetorix complicates things so that a general confusion occurs. As he thinks no one is noticing, Edward hands the note to Pepi. She recognizes Joseph’s writing, but accepts to meet the count, convinced that this is the only way to make Joseph recognize his love openly, since she he is bound to be at Hietzing as well. After the ballet “Tales from the Vienna Woods”, Bitovsky toasts to Gabriela, thus discovering her identity. Everyone is getting ready to go to Hietzing.

ACT III takes place in the entertainment park of Hietzing. Gabriela and Vercingetorix have talked previously, and the man has decided to conquer Franzi and help the countess. The popular celebrations unfolding under the sky of a summer night have the magical gift of ensuring psychological relaxation, and provide the heroes with the revelation of voluptuousness and love for life that they did not experience in the classy environment of count Bitovsky’s. After each of the three couples talks in the intimacy of a hidden shrub, the spark of the denouement comes from the cautious Pepi, who wants to go home, because of the count’s insistences. Eventually, Gabriela obtains from Edward the proof of his constant love and the solution of the conflict results in the reconciliation of the spouses, while the other characters go on with their usual life. Thus, Franzi will marry Vercingetorix, Kagler will marry Rosa, while Edward and Gabriela will be the godparents of Joseph and Pepi. The curtain falls down in an atmosphere of gaiety and love for life.


*Titus Moisescu & Miltiade Păun, Ghid de operetă, Editura Muzicală a Uniunii Compozitorilor, Bucharest, 1969