"The Merry Widow" Dances its Way to Rave Reviews

The Merry Widow at Lyric Opera of Chicago


Renee Fleming and Thomas Hampson in The Merry Widow at Lyric Opera of Chicago
Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson

Broadway director and choreographer Susan Stroman leads a blockbuster cast in the story of beautiful Hanna Glawari (Renée Fleming/Nicole Cabell), whose late husband left her so rich that the financial fortunes of her homeland depend on her marrying a fellow Pontevedrian (Thomas Hampson as Count Danilo). Franz Lehár’s unforgettable tunes with Sir Andrew Davis conducting the dazzling Lyric Opera Orchestra, coupled with a tremendous cast, witty dialogue, sumptuous sets, and glorious costumes, all add up to the must-see show of the holiday season.

There’s a lot of buzz about this “starry” production and its director. You can read Hedy Weiss’s interview with Susan Stroman for the Chicago Sun-Times here.

See a glimpse of the Lyric production of The Merry Widow here:



Then read what critics are saying, while you listen to Susan Stroman explain the difference between opera and Broadway:



The Merry Widow at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Critical Praise:

“Lyric isn’t pulling any punches in the star-power department for its installment of this Franz Lehár piece. A show-stopping triumvirate of none other than Renée Fleming, Nicole Cabell, and Thomas Hampson deliver Lehár’s effervescent numbers in this charming love story.” Chicago Magazine

"...delivering just the right doses of goofy schmaltz, frothy fun and Belle Époque elegance." Chicago Sun-Times

"Stroman’s choreography was tight and exuberant, and her direction moved the action at a smart, crackling pace." Chicago Classical Review

"Fleming sounded as good as she looked..." Chicago Tribune 

"Beginning with his own overture (a conflation of the operetta's hit tunes), Davis coaxed verve, lightness and the right degree of schmaltz from his invaluable orchestra, and Michael Black's unimpeachable chorus added to the general merriment." Chicago Tribune


The Merry Widow continues through December 13 with Renée Fleming’s final performance of Hanna on December 3 at 2pm.  Lyric audiences will cheer superstar Nicole Cabell’s return to Chicago as she takes over the role of the beautiful and charming Hanna for the final three performances on December 9, 11 and 13, all at 2pm. 

This is the perfect holiday treat, so make your plans now for all of the high-stepping fun of The Merry Widow.  Demand is high, so reserve your seats today!


Lyric Opera presentation of Lehár's The Merry Widow generously made possible by the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation, Howard Gottlieb and Barbara Greis, Mr. J. Thomas Hurvis, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and the Mazza Foundation. Production owned by The Metropolitan Opera.

Photos: Andrew Cioffi, Todd Rosenberg



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