New-to-Chicago Production The Merry Widow

By Franz Lehár

  • Language - In English with projected English titles
  • Running Time - 2 hours 35 minutes including 1 intermission

Beautiful Hanna’s late husband has left her a very rich woman. In fact, she’s so rich that the economy of her homeland depends on her marrying a local — so the ambassador springs into action with the help of his wife (a former cancan girl) to find Hanna the right husband. But it’s a tricky affair because the wily widow already has someone in mind: Count Danilo, an old flame, who has no intention of giving up bachelorhood. He’s got a bevy of beauties delighted to keep him happy with no strings attached.

Rendezvous are rampant. Complications abound. Hanna ultimately gets her man as Lehár’s unforgettable tunes bubble happily along. Susan Stroman, one of Broadway’s hottest directors, leads Lyric’s blockbuster cast, featuring the star power of Renée Fleming, Nicole Cabell, and Thomas Hampson in an “eyepopping production...breathtaking to look at and a pleasure to hear.” Huffington Post

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This production of The Merry Widow was presented at Lyric November 14 – December 13, 2015. View our calendar to see what's currently on stage.

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The Merry Widow

by Franz Lehár

Warner Classics – Schwarzkopf, Waechter, cond. Matacic

“Es lebt eine Vilja”
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“Lippen schweigen”
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The Merry Widow

by Franz Lehár

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Commentary by Anthony Freud in collaboration with Nicholas Ivor Martin
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The Merry Widow Synopsis

TIME: 1900
PLACE: Paris

Meet The Artists

Renée Fleming

Hanna (Nov 14 – Dec 3)

Nicole Cabell

Hanna (Dec 9 – 13)

Thomas Hampson


Heidi Stober


Michael Spyres


Patrick Carfizzi


Jonathan Johnson

St. Brioche

Paul LaRosa


Jeff Dumas


Michael Weber


Jonathan Weir


Fred Zimmerman


McKinley Carter


Jennie Sophia


Genevieve Thiers


Ariane Dolan


Alison Mixon


Emily Pynenburg


Annelise Baker


Jen Gorman


Catherine Hamilton


Sir Andrew Davis


Susan Stroman

Director & Choreographer

Julian Crouch

Set Designer

William Ivey Long

Costume Designer

Paule Constable

Lighting Designer

Mark Grey

Sound Designer

Michael Black

Chorus Master

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.

Photo: Todd Rosenberg