Sylva Varescu, a well known cabaret singer, is in love with Prince Edwin von und zu Lippert-Weylersheim, who has had another match arranged by his disapproving family. Matters are happily resolved when it turns out that the Prince's mother had also once been a cabaret singer.
Young Edwin, son and heir to Prince Lippert-Weylersheim, has fallen deeply in love with Sylva Varescu, the incomparably beautiful cabaret singer in Budapest, and cannot bear to let her leave to tour America tomorrow. When his cousin, Captain Baron von Rohnsdorff, arrives to summon him to return to active duty in Vienna, he is reminded of the promises he made at home. His family are desperate to announce his official engagement to his childhood sweetheart, Countess Anastasia Eckenberg, and Rohnsdorff has even brought one of the announcement cards they have prepared. Edwin wants nothing to do with his family anymore, and immediately summons a lawyer and witnesses so that he and Sylva can be married on the spot, much to Sylva’s amazement. It comes as little surprise to find that it was all a charade, when her manager, Boni, shows her the announcement card: Edwin was not free to marry, so the contract is void. She leaves to tour America intent on making the world love her.
Back in Vienna, the Lippert-Weylersheim’s are holding a grand ball, intending to finally make the announcement of their son’s engagement. Things do not completely go to plan when two unexpected guests arrive: Count Bonifazius Kancsianu (Boni), and his wife, the Countess (Sylva), who many remark looks like a wonderful cabaret singer they know. Sylva has a plan to get Edwin to commit to their original contract, but when she finds out from several sources that he is ashamed of her, she tears the contract in pieces. In the meantime, Boni has fallen madly in love with the straight-talking ‘Stasi’, Edwin’s future wife, and she is somewhat taken by his witty tongue, and his professions of devotion to her. With his old friend Feri, they set about untangling these relationships so that everyone ends up with the right person.
"The Gypsy Princess"
"The Riviera Girl"
Operetta in 3 acts
Sung in German
About 2 hours 20 min + intervals
Budapest and Vienna shortly before the outbreak of the First World War
Silva Varescu, a self-sufficient and professionally successful cabaret performer from Budapest, is about to embark on a tour of America. Three of her aristocratic admirers, named Edwin, Feri and Boni, prefer her to stay. Edwin, unaware that his parents have already arranged a marriage for him back home in Vienna, orders a notary to prepare a promissory note of his expected marriage to Silva within ten weeks. Silva then leaves on her American tour, and Edwin leaves for peacetime military duty.
Just at the time this promissory note is about to expire, Silva visits Edwin's palace in Vienna, pretending to have married Boni as her entrée into his family's society. Edwin is about to be engaged to Stasi, who does not care for him and wishes only an arranged marriage. Boni falls in love with Stasi and Edwin regrets not keeping his promise to Silva sooner. However, Edwin makes the faux pas of informing Silva that his parents would accept Silva only if she pretends to have been divorced from Boni and therefore already entered society via an earlier marriage. Edwin's father separately informs Silva that if she marries Edwin without first having achieved noble rank through some other route, her role in society could be merely that of a "csárdás princess." Silva realizes that she is better than they and has a brighter future than they have. She purposefully embarrasses Edwin and his father, turning her back on them and leaving in the presence of their assembled friends.
The act is set in a Viennese hotel to which Feri has accompanied the cabaret troupe from Budapest, who is about to sail on another American tour with Sylva. As everyone shows up and recognizes each other, Feri recognizes Edwin's mother as a retired cabaret singer from Budapest whose star once shone prior to Sylva's time. Edwin's mother joins the two couples, Sylva/Edwin and Boni/Stasi, all unwittingly heading to safety on this American tour.
Sylva Varescu – Soprano
Edwin Ronald - Tenor/Baritone
Countess Stasi – Soprano
Count Boni Káncsiánu – Tenor
Feri von Kerekes – Bass
Anhilte - Contralto
Leopold Maria - Bass
Oberleutnant von Rohnsdorff - Bass
An American - Bass
Place of birth: Siófok, Hungary
Place of death: Paris, France
Emmerich Kálmán was an Hungarian composer of operettas and a prominent figure in the development of Viennese operetta in the 20th century. Among his most popular works are Die Csárdásfürstin (1915) and Gräfin Mariza (1924). Influences on his compositional style include Hungarian folk music (such as the csárdás), the Viennese style of precursors such as Johann Strauss II and Franz Lehár, and, in his later works, American jazz.
As a result of the Anschluss, Kálmán and his family fled to Paris and then to the United States. He eventually returned to Europe in 1949 and died in Paris in 1953.
About Kálmán's popularity:
“They say not a single minute goes by in the world without a melody of Emmerich Kálmán being heard either on stage, television, radio or at a concert.”
Kálmán was friends with the composers George Gershwin and Franz Lehár.
Most prominent operas
Leo Stein was a playwright and librettist of operettas in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries, including works adapted for a number of Broadway productions. Stein wrote libretti for Johann Strauss Jr, Franz Lehár, Emmerich Kálmán, and Oskar Nedbal. A selection of his works includes Wiener Blut (1899), Die lustige Witwe (1905), Der Graf von Luxemburg (1909) and Die Csárdásfürstin (1915).
Bela Jenbach, real name Béla Jacobowicz, was an Austrian actor and operetta librettist of Hungarian origin. Jenbach was of Jewish origin and the brother of the screenwriter Ida Jenbach. He was co-author of several well-known operetta libretti including Die Csárdásfürstin.
2d1, 2, 2, 2 - 4, 2, 3, 0
perc, harp, celesta, strings
Die Csárdásfürstin premiered at the Johann Strauß-Theater in Vienna in 1915.
Aria - Heia, heia, in den Bergen ist mein Heimatland (Sylva)
Aria – Alle sind wir Sünder (Count/Feri)
Aria – Ganz ohne Weiber geht die Chose nicht (Count)
Duet - Heller Jubel - Weisst du es noch (Sylva, Edwin)
Duet – Tanzen möcht ich... Tausend kleine Engel singen (Sylva, Edwin)
Trio – Nimm Zigeuner deine Geige (Sylva/Count/Feri)