The Merry Widow is Franz Lehár‘s comic masterpiece, played out in a stream of memorable melodies including the familiar ‘Vilja Song’ and ‘Merry Widow Waltz’.
With a truly glamourous setting, Lehár’s operetta centres on the relationship between the dazzling and wealthy young widow Hanna and Danilo, who has an appetite for wine and women. As this delightful tale of a woman’s quest for love unfolds, their burgeoning romance is hampered by mishap, intrigue and comedic misadventure.
Making their ENO debuts with Lehár’s classic are Director Max Webster (The Lorax) and sought-after Estonian conductor Kritiina Poska. As the vivacious Hanna, ENO favourite Sarah Tynan returns for her second major appearance of the season. She is joined by Nathan Gunn as Danilo, while ENO legend Andrew Shore plays the pompous Zeta.
I do not normally attend ENO productions, but I wanted to see The Merry Widow for a special reason. In 1907, my great grandfather, W H Berry, played the part of the clerk Njegus. I wanted to get an idea of what that role entailed. The production enthralled me. It was magical, yet earthy, full of humour and sparkle. I'm completely hooked, now, I'll be a regular ENO supporter. Thank you, ENO, for an enchanting afternoon.
There have been reports in the media that the lovely old doors to the Colosseum make people feel excluded, but they were the highlight of the visit. This glorious score was done no service at all by a very smutty translation with plenty of swearing. In one scene there are 7 guys taking a leak at urinals and spraying their fluids everywhere. Franz Lehar will be turning in his grave. And while the leading lady had a lovely singing voice her phoney 21st century spoken voice was completely out of kilter with her colleagues and the setting of the production. A great shame because the quality of the singing and playing was actually good. But what finally killed it for us was the number of people coughing uncontrollably through the music - it's a growing trend as far as I can tell and theatres happily remind audiences to turn off their phones but seem to have forgotten to tell people to cover their mouths when they cough to minimise disruption. Sadly, as far as I could tell, the offenders were elderly (like me) who ought to know better.
We were absolutely delighted with this clever re-working of a personal favourite of ours. It was witty, funny and visually compelling: not a jarring note all evening and wonderful choreography. We could have sat through it again straightaway afterwards. A triumph! Also very friendly staff - always an important part of the experience for us.
So much enthusiasm and commitment created an at times hilarious evening. The sets and costumes were so colourful and luxuriant . The lead roles had clear strong voices accompanied by a brilliant chorus. I especially loved the choreography. Congratulations ENO.
Very good production. Great sets and singing and orchestration spot on.
Had very enjoyableevening. Super performance by cast and orchestra!
Totally delightful stage settings with fabulous costumes and soooo beautifully enacted . The music and opera second to none. Unfortunately from my balcony seat (A38) I found some of the dialogue hard to follow.
Excellent singing, lovely music, great scenery. Glad we went to see it.
I’ve loved the sound track since aged 8 I’m now in my 50s and finally got to see it performed and Absolutely fabulous it was too. Now I can picture the performance when I listen to my CD, although I believe a song was missing and some wording was changed to suit the stage set etc. But still very funny and enjoyable. Fantastic voices very well performed and sung beautifully. I sat in stalls row N and had a great view with leg room and I’m 5’10. You will not be disappointed no matter where you sit!
Very good opera!
We attended the Merry Widow last evening and thought that the orchestra, sets and overall show was excellent. It was a pity that the sound was dreadful. We found it very difficult to hear the leading lady especially the song Vilia which was sung while she sat on a moon and we heard nothing thank goodness the orchestra was so good. We did mention to the staff regarding the sound and this needs to be looked at as it left us disappointed. Not sure we like the modern twist of gents at the urinals and the leading ladies costumes appeared too modern compared to the rest.
London Coliseum, 33 St Martin's Lane, Westminster, London, WC2N 4ES
Good To Know
Sung in English, with subtitles projected above the stage
The appearance of any given artist is not guaranteed and no refunds or exchanges will be available should changes be made from the advertised cast
How Does It Work
You will receive a voucher after purchase - please print and present on arrival.
Suitable For Children
Please be aware that this production contains some adult content which may not be suitable for young audiences.
No under 5s admitted
When Can I Go
11 Evening Performances Remaining
01 06 08 09 13 15 22 27 29 March 2019
01 04 April 2019
Where Do I Go
St Martin's Ln, London WC2N 4ES