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Janne Sevtsenko as Sylva Varescu in Tallinn. Photographer Harri Rospu.

Janne Sevtsenko as Sylva Varescu in Tallinn. Photographer Harri Rospu.

The Estonian National Opera are presenting the Emmerich Kalman operette Die Czardasfyrstinn in a beautiful old fashion style, Staged and designed by Mart Sander, with temperament, amusement, high tempo, but too with enough time to let the romantic grow, and since the operahouse are translating very good in to English language from Eztonian, so that the international audience can understand the amusing text, so that this production is highly recommandable for tourists visiting the charming Estonian capital, Tallinn.

The cast is with two – three different singers in the leading roles. The evening September 28th, 2010, that we visited the performance in Tallin Janne Sevtsenko was beautifully singing and performing the titelrole as Sylvia Varescu. Closely followed up by the handsome young tenor Andres Köster as Edwin, he has the beauty in his voice, are the right type, some times not having enough voice power yet in the role, but I do believe that this is a very good choise, and the sound will be even better, when be is being older. René Soom entertained us as Grev Boni and Maris Liloson was Stasi with beautiful hightunes, but missing a bit sound in the middle part.

In the character roles we enjoyed Raivo E. Tamm as Prince Leopold Maria von und zu Lippert-Weylersheim and as his wife Anhilte, who is the most royal type of these two until we are being told tha she was too a former cabaret singer, wonderfully played and sung by Riina Airenne. As Baron Feri Väino Puura.

Janne Sevtsenko as Sylvia Varescu 
. Regi: Mart Sander, Die Csárdásfürstin.  Photographer Harri Rospu.

Janne Sevtsenko as Sylvia Varescu. Regi: Mart Sander, Die Csárdásfürstin. Photographer Harri Rospu.

The very well playing orchestra was conducted by Erki Pehk

Operetta by Imre Kálmán
Libretto by Leo Stein and Béla Jenbach, translation by Mart Sander

Mart Sander debuts as the stage director of operetta Die Csárdásfürstin at the Estonian National Opera
Mart Sander has been associated with the Estonian National Opera for 25 years, but this stage production – Imre Kálmán’s Die Csárdásfürstin from the so-called silver age of Viennese operetta – is his debut as a stage director there.

World premiere on November 17, 1915 at Johann Strauß-Theater (Vienna)
Premiere at the Estonian National Opera on September 16, 2010

Music Director and Conductor: Jüri Alperten
Conductors: Mihhail Gerts, Erki Pehk
Stage Director and Designer: Mart Sander
Choreographer: Marina Kesler
Fight choreography: Hellar Bergmann
Lighting Desinger: Anton Kulagin

Sung in Estonian, subtitles in Estonian and English

Imre Kálmán is the third great composer of the Vienna operetta besides Johann Strauss and Franz Lehár. The operetta Ein Herbstmanöver that premiered at the Theater an der Wien in 1908 showed the talent of the young composer in this genre. Commissions for many theatre’s followed – seven more operettas fit between Ein Herbstmanöver and Die Csárdásfürstin that premiered in 1915

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. The brilliant, passionate and sentimental Die Csárdásfürstin is considered the peak of Kálmán’s creation and one of the most important pieces in the history of operetta. The composer tried to give dramatic profoundness to the plot line of the operetta and this is why Die Csárdásfürstin can be considered an operetta version of La traviata with a happy ending
. The rhythms of waltz, czardas and foxtrot have been blended into the music of the piece. Die Csárdásfürstin already conquered the hearts of the audience in the dress rehearsal and the review published in Das Neue Wiener Journal after the successful premiere noted: “Kálmán has written very captivating music, the sound of his melodies offers an extraordinary lyrical pleasure!”

The stage director Mart Sander: “Die Csárdásfürstin is in a way of taking the easy way out, but then it cannot be argued: such melodies as “Machen wir’s den Schwalben nach” and “Ganz ohne Weiber geht die Chose nicht” are familiar even to those who have never been to theatre. It is a good material for a stage director: it can be staged as a real comedy or the tragic undertone of the story can be emphasised. Or it can tell a sincere story of the people who, being trapped in the cogwheels of social systems, yearn to be just people but cannot afford it. Since there are sharp parallels with the contemporary world in this nearly a hundred-year-old story, I decided to accentuate them not by modernising the subject matter but by “making it old” – I am trying to stage a show that sends a modern message despite its visual side being pronouncedly, almost ridiculously old-fashioned.“

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