The Merry Widow
The Merry Widow is a romantic musical comedy or operetta by the Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehár. The librettists, Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, based the story — concerning a rich widow, Hanna Glawari, and her attempt to find a husband—on an 1861 comedy play, L’Attaché d’ambassade (The Ambassador’s Attache) by Henri Meilhac.
The operetta was first performed at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on 30 December 1905 and had several very successful productions in Austria and Germany. In its English adaptation by Basil Hood, with lyrics by Adrian Ross, the show became a sensation in London in 1907, starring Lily Elsie and opened a few months later on Broadway for a very successful run. Thereafter, it was played frequently in America and throughout the English speaking world, and is still frequently revived in English.
Well-known music from the score includes the songs “Vilja”, “You’ll Find Me at Maxim’s”, and “The Merry Widow Waltz”
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