Operetta Research Center
30 July, 2016
To tell the truth: Im weißen Rössl at the Neustrelitz open air operetta festival was fascinating! For a start, I was – apart from a few children – the youngest person there. And I am 66! That tells you something about who travels to Neustrelitz for operetta. And who doesn’t.
The audience clearly knew the show well, or thought they did. They were humming and singing along most of the time! For them it was just the right kind of production! At least it tried to enter the spirit of the original and be: spectacular! Or at least what stage director Wolfgang Lachnitt considers spectacular. You did get fed up with every song being made into a production number with horses/carriages parading from one side of the stage to the other, and back again. So old fashioned!
They didn’t have the Stolz number “Goodbye,” famous in the UK. This surprised me, but I hear that this is never used in Germany because Erik Charell had a major fall-out and law suit with Stolz over royalties, so he refused to have any further productions with this Stolz interpolation, expect in Great Britain, where Charell himself had inserted the number for London in 1931.
In an odd sort of way I enjoyed the Neustrelitz performance. I have never seen anything quite like it. The applause at the end lasted 15 minutes! But I don’t think they could do the same typ of production with Gypsy Baron next year. (There will be a new stage director anyway, since Mr. Lachnitt is leaving Neustrelitz.)
Meanwhile, back home in England, I have booked for the first night of Künneke’s Lady Hamilton in Dessau next January. I enjoyed Zirkusprinzessin at the Anhaltisches Theater, so want to give the company another try. And this Künneke show contains some fabulous numbers that make a trip well worth the effort.