Operetta Research Center
15 May, 2014
It’s about time, you might say, that someone remembered the great Max Hansen and made him the center of a new show. Up-and-coming operetta tenor Chris Miebach is the man of the hour, so to speak. He is presenting his very own Max Hansen program in Berlin on 10 June, 2014 on the rehearsal stage of the Theater des Westens.
Hansen is best remembered as the creator of the role of Leopold in Im weißen Rössl, the 1930 hit with music by Ralph Benatzky, staged by Erik Charell. Hansen was a close friend and working partner of Benatzky, who wrote various other shows for him, among them the ski operetta Herzen im Schnee, but also Morgen geht’s uns gut and Das kleine Café.
Hansen’s voice is well preserved on disc, and he can also be seen in various films. Douglas Wolfsperger dedicated a fascinating documentary film to him, entitled War’ Sie schon mal in mich verliebt? (Hansen’s scandalous song that turned Hitler into a homosexual and promted the immediate wrath the the Nazis). There is also Marie-Theres Arnbom’s recommendable Hansen book.
Christian Miebach is a student of the UdK Berlin and will present his own version of the Hansen story in a show that will present some of seldom heard titles (e.g. numbers from Herzen im Schnee and the opera parody from Drei Musketiere), but also documents Miebach found detailling Hansen’s quest to become an “Ayrian” and get a work permit in Nazi Germany.
Let’s hope this show will not only be performaned once, but will see many revivals. Because Max Hansen deserves as much attention as he can get. And so does Mr. Miebach, by the way.