Original libretto: Leo Stein, Bela Jenbach
Russian version: Vladimir Mikhailov, Dmitry Tolmachev
Translation and revision: Yuri Dimitrin
Staging: Vyacheslav Starodubtsev
Music Director and Conductor: Evgeny Volynsky
Stage Director: Vyacheslav Starodubtsev
Set Designer: Vyacheslav Okunev
Costume Designer: Elena Oleynik
Video content editor: Vadim Dulenko
Lighting Designer: Igor Yakushev
Stage Movement: Sergei Zakharin
Choreography: Tatiana Kapustina
Principal Chorus Master: Vyacheslav Podyelsky
Conductor: Eldar Nagiev
Chorus Master: Sergei Tenitilov
Assistant Stage Director: Nikolai Natsybulin
Silva Varescu, cabaret singer – Olga Kolobova, Nadezhda Nesterova, Irina Novikova;
Prince Leopold Weylersheim – Alexey Laushkin, Andrey Triller;
Princess Cecilia Weylersheim, his wife – Galina Kuznetsova, Olga Obukhova
Young prince Edwin, their son Maxim Golovachev, Gury Guriev
Stasi, their niece – Polina Lelyukh, Daria Shuvalova, Yulia Yumaeva
Boni, count Kanscianu, friend to Edwin – Konstantin Zakharov, Evgeny Kozyrev, Kirill Nofontov;
Feri, a regular – Mikhail Agafonov, Viktor Ditenbir, Yuri Komov
Miksa, the cabaret manager – Nikolai Natsybulin
Premiered on 17th November 1915 in Vienna.
Emmerich Kálmán first thought of an operetta about a cabaret star Silva Varescu in the beginning of 1914. In April he had already concluded an agreement between librettists Leo Stein and Bela Jenbach. The German libretto was entitled Vive l’Amour!
The plot of this new work somewhat resembles Verdi’s famous opera: the main character is the type of woman a noble man should never marry and bring into a polite society. However, according to the canons of this light, entertaining genre the piece needed to end happily.
The composer and the librettists were interrupted in their work by historic events developing around them: in June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated in Sarajevo. The Austrian-Serbian war that followed grew into the World War soon after. The operetta was finished by November 1915, and premiered on 17th November at the Johann Strauss theatre in Vienna. Csárdás tunes are widely present in the score of this operetta, which was entitled Csárdásfürstin. It is a very popular Hungarian dance with an emotional start and rampant, furious ending.
Silva Varescu is a cabaret star in Budapest, whose fiery personality makes men’s hearts go wild. Edwin is a young noble man of aristocratic origin, son to a rightful prince. They are separated by an unbridgeable social abyss, which leads to alienation and disdain. But love overcomes all boundaries! The blazing feelings of Sylva tell us a story about a woman fighting for her right to be happy.
Silva Varescu, cabaret performer;
Princess Weylersheim, his wife;
Their son Edwin;
Countess Stasi, Prince’s niece;
Count Boni Káncsiánu;
Ferenc (“Feri”) von Kerekes.
Silva Varescu is giving her last performance before leaving for America on tour. Her beloved, Prince Edwin is late for this occasion. As soon as he arrives to the cabaret, Boni passes him an urgent message from his parents; they insist that he breaks up with the singer and returns home immediately.
Edwin does not write back. Despite that, the Prince arranges his transfer to a different regiment. Edwin makes up his mind to propose to Silva. They get married right at the cabaret. Soon after that the lovers have to separate.
Boni shows Silva an invitation to Edwin and Stasi’s engagement ceremony. Silva’s heart is broken. In order to distract her from dark thoughts, Boni reminds Silva of the tour and persuades her to take that opportunity.
Stasi shows Edwin invitations to their wedding, which he tried to postpone. Together with Boni Silva attends the ceremony by the Countess’ name. Boni falls in love with Stasi. Silva and Edwin rediscover their relationship and Edwin cancels the engagement. Having learnt that, the Prince loses his temper and the evening ends up in a grave scandal.
The final pay-off takes place at the Orpheum Theatre. The Prince finds out that he is married to a former cabaret performer, who went by the name of “Nightingale”. Boni pushes Silva to declare her love to Edwin right when he enters the room.