Happy Valentine’s Day!
Enjoy these romantic duets and arias from operettas featured in Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concerts.
“Das ist die Liebe,” from Gypsy Princess
Boni, a theatrical manager, is pretending to be romantically linked to his client, a cabaret singer whose actual lover, a prince, has just been betrothed to another woman, Stasi. In this duet, Boni meets Stasi for the first time, and both of them fall in love at first sight.
“Vilia,” from Merry Widow
Hanna, the eponymous merry (and extremely wealthy) widow, is hosting an extravagant party, where she entertains her guests by singing this aria about a forest fairy who enchants and entrances a young huntsman.
“Warum hast du mich wach geküsst,” from Friederike
This biographical operetta tells the story of the young Johann Wolfgang Goethe, the celebrated German poet, and his doomed love for Friederike. In this aria, the broken-hearted title heroine reflects on the way her soul was awaken by Goethe’s love.
“So kommen Sie!” from Merry Widow
To save a French principality from bankruptcy, a politician concocts an elaborate scheme to stop a wealthy local widow from marrying a foreigner. While he wheels and deals behind the scenes, his wife, Valencienne, flirts with the French attaché, who has been secretly in love with her for a very long time…
“Hab' ich nur deine Liebe,” from Boccaccio
Set in the early Renaissance era, the erotic poetry of the title character causes a scandal in Florence. Despite the outcry against his provocative work, the Duke of Florence’s daughter, Fiametta, falls in love with the controversial poet, Boccaccio.
“Liebe, du Himmel auf Erden,” from Paganini
When the fiery violin virtuoso, Paganini, arrives in Lucca, he begins a tempestuous affair with Princess Maria Anna Elisa, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte. When rumours about their secret relationship reach her brother, Paganini is ordered to leave the town forever. But Elisa refuses to be separated from her lover.
“Mein lieber Schatz,” from Countess Maritza
Hiding his true identity, the young Baron Tassilo—a nobleman who’s fallen on hard times—has found menial work on the estate of Countess Maritza, who is constantly harangued by suitors angling for her fortune. Although she’s resolved to lead an independent life, the countess can’t help but fall for the disguised Tassilo, and dreams of no longer being a noblewoman so she and her servant can be together.
“Wer hat die Liebe uns ins Herz gesenkt?” from Land of Smiles
The Viennese Countess Lisa marries the Chinese Prince Sou-Chong, and joins her new husband in his home country, where she feels homesick and depressed. Sou-Chong tries to raise her spirits by invoking the power of love that has brought them together.
“Lippen schweigen,” from Merry Widow
This famous duet takes place after a series of mistaken identities and intentions keeps Hanna, the extremely wealthy widow, from her true love, Danilo. Setting aside jealousies, pretensions, and ulterior motives, the two lovers rapturously express their feelings for one another.
“Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss,” from Giuditta
After fleeing her oppressive marriage, Giuditta falls in love with a soldier, and joins him on his journey to North Africa. When his regiment is called away, the abandoned Giuditta becomes a night club performer, and pours all her passion into her sensual, provocative performances.
“Dein ist mein ganzes Herz,” from Land of Smiles
One of the most famous tenor pieces ever, this aria is sung by Prince Sou-Chong to his new Viennese bride, Countess Lisa. Upon learning the Prince must take multiple wives, Lisa is distraught. But Sou-Chong swears a vow to her, promising that his heart belongs to her alone.