The Merry Widow

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Music: Franz Lehár
Libretto: Victor Léon and Leon Stein, based on the comedy by Henri Meilhac
Premiere: Vienna, December 28, 1905

Joyful music, dance and light romance have made The Merry Widow a universal favorite since the operetta's first performance. In gay Paris, a birthday party for the ruler of the imaginary land of Marsovia is in full swing. Wealthy Sonia is surrounded by suitors, to the despair of Marsovian diplomat Baron Popoff, who fears she will bankrupt their country if she marries a foreigner. He cleverly convinces Prince Danilo, the minister of finance, to woo Sonia, though the prince has been rejected once. While Sonia lavishes special attention on the prince, he feigns indifference until she announces her engagement to a Frenchman. In agony, he at last reveals his true love to Sonia and discovers with joy that her engagement is a fiction and that she shares his passionate feelings.

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