Musikalische Komödie Leipzig
19 November, 2018
On Saturday, October 20, exactly 90 years after its world premiere, the curtain will rise on Emmerich Kálmán’s Die Herzogin von Chicago (The Duchess of Chicago) at Musikalische Komödie, Leipzig. The new production is directed by Ulrich Wiggers. We re-print the official press release here.
Money can get you anything! Mary Lloyd, the daughter of an American billionaire, bets her friends from the Young Ladies Eccentric Club that, for the right price, she can buy a prince – and his kingdom. On the search for a suitable mark, Mary sets off on a journey overseas to old Europe, where jazz has recently taken over dance clubs from Budapest to Vienna. It’s there she meets the extremely indebted prince Sándor Boris. And while the sale of the Sylvarian castle is quickly arranged, the prince’s heart proves to be somewhat harder for Mary to secure. True to his roots, the prince’s heart still beats in an old-fashioned three-four time, and the Charleston and Foxtrot aren’t quite his speed. But in the end, the diverse musical styles – as well as Mary and Sándor’s hearts – find a way to reconcile their differences.
The Duchess of Chicago is a true clash of cultures. Emmerich Kálmán brings the conflict between the old world and the new world to the stage in the form of a musical competition, in which he pits the Slow Fox and Jazz against the Viennese Waltz and the Csárdás. In 1928, the controversy would scarcely have been more modern. Josephine Baker had brought the Charleston to the European continent only two years prior, and the new import inexorably wound its way into operetta, which eagerly incorporated the newest American fads to maintain its commercial appeal and keep up with the Zeitgeist.
Kálmán also had his finger on the pulse of the times thematically in the duel between America and Europe – and that between progress and tradition – as European fascination with America had reached a furor by the end of the 1920s.
For more information, performance dates and tickets, click here.