Another “Zirkusprinzessin” in Baden’s Sommerarena

Johan van Leiden
Operetta Research Center
15 July, 2014

Some say we’re living in the “Age of Aquarius,” I say we’re living in the times of the Zirkusprinzessin. Or so it would seem. After Dessau presented the acrobatic Kalman show from 1926, the Gärtnerplatztheater Munich announced a new production. And now Austria is getting a new open-air version as well: the historic summer arena in Baden (near Vienna) is offering the spell-binding tale of Mr. X, the fiddler on the trapaze.

The official poster image for the new "Zirkusprinzessin" in Baden bei Wien. (Photo: Bühne Baden)

The official poster image for the new “Zirkusprinzessin” in Baden bei Wien. (Photo: Bühne Baden)

It’s a production by operetta tenor Wolfgang Gratschmaier, member of the Vienna Volksoper. His Mr. X is Ukrainian tenor JevgenijTaruntsov, partnered with Nicola Becht, Sebastian Reinthaller and Peter Edelmann in the other lead roles.

NÖ published a report that isn’t too positive about the production, alas:

Dabei hätte Regisseur Wolfgang Gratschmaier genug Potenzial für nette wie für anarchistische Pointen, über die er aber im dritten Akt die Liebesgeschichten in Emmerich Kálmáns Operette vergisst. Berauschend das Ballett (Choreografie: Michael Kropf), überzeugend das Orchester unter Oliver Ostermann, durchwachsen Bühnenbild und Kostüme (Ina Reuter). […] Fazit: Viele, nicht immer überzeugende Gags und ein blasses Liebespaar. Da müsste mehr gehen!

The historic "Sommerarena" in Baden. (Photo: Baden Tourismus)

The historic “Sommerarena” in Baden. (Photo: Baden Tourismus)

It seems that the operetta guys (and gals) in Baden still can’t quite get the jazzy side of operetta right, that is required for a Roaring Twenties show such as Zirkusprinzessin. I recall, with some horror, their production of Benatzky’s Drei Musketiere a few years back where the dancing and sword fighting looked very amateurish, instead of glamorous and rousing.

Let’s hope the Munich group will present the world with a somewhat catchier version at Circus Krone. Kalman’s daughter Yvonne is attending all these first nights, she was spotted – in great party mood – in Baden as well.

For more information and performance dates, plus tickets, click here.