On 23 June several members and friends attended Opera Queensland’s performance of Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow at QPAC. There are many images from the opera to give you a taste of the performance at Opera Queensland (https://operaq.com.au/whats-on/the-merry-widow/).
The opera tells the story of a young widow who, on the death of her husband, inherits his fortune. She travels from her homeland to Paris where she is pursued by Parisian eligible bachelors who are seeking a wealthy wife. In order to keep the money in her own country, she is expected to marry a local not a Parisian.
Hanna, the Widow, is hoping to marry her ex-lover Danilo who was her childhood sweetheart. She finds he has chosen a life of champagne and the company of the ladies of the Paris nightclub scene to cope with the loss of her love when she married.
It is here we see the beautiful clothing of the Parisian Art Deco period of the 1920s with stunning and elegant gowns and sets.
Although Hanna pursues Danilo, he is not easily persuaded by her love and doesn’t want her money. She then becomes engaged to another in an effort to make him jealous. Around them a typical farce ensues with wrongful assumptions of who is romantically involved with whom, cheating wives and jealous husbands.
In the final scene Hanna reveals that she will lose her fortune if she remarries. Without money as a barrier to marrying her, Danilo can now admit his love; it is only then that he’s told that the reason Hanna will lose all her money on remarriage is because it will become her husband’s. Despite this they can now live happily ever after.
David Hobson was excellent in the role of Danilo and, apart from the height discrepancy with his co-star Natalie Christie Peluso who played Hanna, they were an excellent pairing. They were ably supported by the rest of the cast.
The Merry Widow was only in Brisbane for a short season and we were all pleased that we were able to attend.