Philadelphia Debut Of “The Dollar Princess” By Leo Fall

Kevin Clarke
Operetta Research Center
10 May, 2017

It’s always astonishing that American audiences never really fell for operettas with stories actually set in the USA. It seems they always preferred “European” themed plots, while the Europeans had a special weakness the other way round. One of the big European hits with a US setting was Leo Falls’s 1907 Die Dollarprinzessin. Now, you can witness the late Philadelphia debut of the show at Concert Operetta Theater, on May 20 and 21.

Die Dollarprinzessin is a musical in three acts that began its life in Vienna in 1907 with a German language production conducted by the composer. It was adapted into English by Basil Hood, with music by Leo Fall and lyrics by Adrian Ross. It opened in London on September 25, 1909, running for 428 performances, and also had a very successful run on Broadway, running for 288 performances.

Composer Leo Fall.

Composer Leo Fall.

In late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, Dollar Princess was the nickname given to American heiresses. Three plot lines take place concurrently: First, an American girl, the daughter of the President of the Coal Trust (the Dollar Princess), falls in love with a young Englishman and tries to win his heart. Meanwhile, her millionaire father has an affair with a supposed Countess, who turns out to be a lion tamer. Also, his niece, Daisy, marries a young Marquis, but she refuses to be anything but his friend.

Leo Fall, horsing around with his librettists.

Leo Fall, horsing around with his librettists.

Daniel Pantano conceived Concert Operetta Theater with a main goal of presenting, preserving, and educating audiences about operetta through professional performances of American, German and Viennese operettas. A minimalist production concept highlights the story and the music, bringing the production closer to the audience in an intimate setting. In the past fifteen seasons Concert Operetta Theater has presented twenty-three operettas, nine potpourri concerts, one USA premiere, and eight Philadelphia premieres. COT has presented programs at Merkin Hall (NYC), the Ocean City Pops Orchestra (NJ), Michener Museum (Doylestown), the German Society of Philadelphia, and the Hadley Memorial Fund (Chester County).  Over one hundred sixty performers have graced the stage, and pit of COT productions and many have gone on to perform at The Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Deutches Opern Berlin, Staatsoper Vienna, La Scala Milan, Paris Opera, Dallas Opera, Saint Louis Opera, Des Moines Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and many more.

Poster for Leo Fall's "The Dollar Princess," 1911.

Poster for Leo Fall’s “The Dollar Princess,” 1911.

For more information, contact Daniel Pantano at

There are two performances, on May 20 and May 21, both at 4:00 p.m. At 1920 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. Both performances will be sung in English with piano accompaniment.