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The Csardas Princess

Operetta in two acts by Imre Kalman

Russian text by Sofia Lisach
Stage director and libretto author – KERO ® (Hungary)
Musical director and conductor - Honored Artist of Russia Andrey Alekseev
Choreographer – Jeno Loscei (Hungary)
Set Designer - Tamás Rakai (Hungary)
Costume designer – Eric Kollar (Hungary)
Conductor – Allayar Latypov
Choirmaster: Evgeniy Takmakov
Assistant directors: Vera Dombrovskaya, Oksana Antonenko
Assistant choreographer: Ivan Dremin
Responsible accompanist – Olga Bronskikh
Assistant directors: Svetlana Vorontsova, Yana Gubskaya

The premiere will take place on March 22, 2024

The new production is the theater’s next appeal to the immortal masterpiece of Imre Kalman, better known on the Russian stage as “Silva” or “Queen of Csardas”.

You can make an action-packed film based on the history of the appearance of “The Csardas Princess”. No less exciting is the subsequent fate of the work, which has undergone many interpretations, both from the point of view of the libretto and in terms of directorial experiments. The viewer's love for him remains unchanged under all changing circumstances.

Initially, the author called his work “Long live love!” But it saw the light of the stage in 1915 on the stage of the Vienna Johann-Strauss Theater under the name “The Csardas Princess”. The operetta became incredibly popular and was sold to theaters around the world under a variety of names. So, on Broadway “The Princess” turned into “The Girl from the Riviera”, in England it became “The Gypsy Princess”, in Hungary - “The Queen of Czardas”, etc. And in Russia the name “Silva” was firmly assigned to her.

First shown in the summer of 1916 with actress Elna Histedt in the role of Silva in the then Russian Helsingfors (Helsinki), it was presented in Petrograd in 1917 by the Palace Theater. The production was carried out by Alexey Feona. A little more than a decade later, it was he who headed the Musical Comedy Theater.

“Silva” appeared on the posters of the Leningrad Musical Comedy Theater in 1940. During the years of the blockade, this name was finally fixed in the genetic memory of the townspeople. Since then, Kalman’s work has practically never left the musical comedy repertoire, second only to itself, but under a different name.

For example, in 1954 in Budapest, a new libretto for “The Queen of Csardas” was created especially for a benefit performance of the famous prima donna Hanna Honti, who was already 61 years old at that time. The production of this performance was an extraordinary success in Hungary. The changes to the libretto were significant. In the new version, Cecilia, as Mother Edwina was now called, played by Hannah Honti, was given the main role of the queen of the cafe, the former heroine, Silva, faded into the background, and the roles of Mishka and Feri were significantly expanded, etc. Numbers from Kalman's other operettas were added to the score, since the composer did not provide any musical numbers for the new part in the original clavier. A few years later, the operetta, updated in this way, migrated to the Soviet stage.

For the modern production of Kalman’s immortal hit, which has finally acquired the original title “The Csardas Princess” (although this is another edition of “Queen of Csardas” made for Honti), the Russian text of the libretto has been updated, where the contradiction-confrontation “heroes-society” is dramaturgically intensified, and their sentimental reflections on the past, which lead away from the main conflict, are also “muted”.