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Franz Lehár: Die Juxheirat

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Julius Bauer, a man known not only for his intelligent, original, and witty texts but also as Vienna’s most influential theater critic, wrote the libretto for Die Juxheirat in 1904. This wild, dizzying, surprising, and bold work was far ahead of its times as well as reminiscent of The Taming of the Shrew – only carried to the absolute extreme. The shrew is a frustrated widow and suffragette, and the male protagonist is just the opposite of a lady-tamer: overtaxed and irritated, he just wants to live out his love. Michael Lakner, then the director of the Lehár Festival, declared in an interview, ‘I am especially fond of this operetta with a story taking us to the United States around 1900. Franz Lehár’s name is above all associated with The Merry Widow, his great worldwide success; a year before he had already written Die Juxheirat. During his lifetime this work was performed only forty times. And we are presenting this conversation operetta in a semi-scenic performance.’ The conductor Markus Burkert elaborated and reconstructed this work note by note; the musicians pieced their parts together note by note. ‘They also take this commitment with them into the performance – and play with verve the interesting waltzes, marches, and ensemble pieces. The fact that the Franz Lehár Orchestra also produces a wonderful, transparent, and lively sound makes it the perfect ensemble for the operetta genre.’ - BR-Klassik Operetta Review. A bold and daring Lehár without his otherwise typical sentimentalities – quite the discovery!
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