Operetta "Silva": content, video, interesting facts, history

I. Kalman Operetta Silva (Queen of Chardash)

Hungarian composer Imre Kalman wrote "Silva" in 1915, that is, in the era of modernity - the era of the "disenchanted" Modern world. At that time, faith in science replaced the spiritual quest that had gone to the catacombs. Art, reflecting and expressing a new reality, changed and "landed". But “landing” is the form through which major artists expressed high content. Imre Kalman undoubtedly was an artist who managed to create a loud and difficult operetta about overcoming class divisions. Behind the facade of the classic story of the love of a beautiful simple lady with a twinkle and a noble young man from high society lies the challenge to his time and, accordingly, to his society. The actress breaking into the very specific high society of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is a kind of revolution wrapped in a wrapper of a “beautiful fairy tale”.

Summary of the Kalman Operetta "Sylvia"and many interesting facts about this work read on our page.




Silva VarescusopranoVariety artist, nicknamed "The Gypsy Princess"
Leopold Mariabaritoneruling Viennese prince
Angiltacontraltowife of Leopold, princess
Edwintenoryoung aristocrat, son of a prince, beloved Silva
Countess AnastasiasopranoBeloved Boni, cousin Edwin
Bony canchianutenorEdwin's friend, Earl
Ferry Kerkesbassnobleman buddy edwina


The action takes place in 1915 in the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the First World War. The main character, Silva Varescu, makes her way from the bottom and becomes the prima of the Budapest variety show, where she gets the nickname of “Gypsy Princess” and is preparing to go on a tour of America. Beloved Silva, the young Prince Edwin, who serves as an officer in the army, cannot get the family’s consent to marry because of the low origin of the heroine. Edwin's parents agree on the engagement of his son with his cousin and the transfer to another part in order to separate him from Silva. But Edwin, in secret from all, is engaged to Silva, taking witnesses to the notary.

Varescu goes on tour with his variety show after a rift occurs between the characters and Edwin agrees to a long-time engagement with the other - his cousin Anastasia, who comes from a noble family. In the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - in Vienna, the heroes meet again at the engagement of Edwin with Countess Stassi, in which Prince Volypuk’s family has long been relying on marrying his son. Silva arrives there accompanied by her friend Edwin, Count Boni, who calls the "Gypsy princess" his wife, Countess Konchan. Then a swift action unfolds, in which Boni approaches Stassi, and Edwin reunites with Silva. As a result, Evin’s father was forced to give his permission to marry, as it turns out that Edwin’s mother, Princess Angilt, had also played in a variety show before marriage to a prince.

Duration of performance
I ActAct II - Act III
60 min90 min.

A photo:

Interesting Facts

  • Operetta "Silva" has also other names, in German "Queen of Chardash" ("Gypsy Princess"), in English "Riviera Girl" or similarly to the German "Gypsy Princess". The first "working" name of the operetta was "Long live love."
  • The operetta was translated into Russian by V.S. Mikhailov and D.G. Tolmachev in 1915. Since at that time the First World War was going on, the name and the names of some characters changed.
  • Libretto for operetta was written by Bela Jenbach and Leo Stein.
  • The most popular "Silva" used in Austria, Hungary, Germany and the Soviet Union.
  • Based on the operetta, a number of films were shot in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Norway and the Soviet Union. The first was a silent film by Austrian director Emile Leyda, released in 1919. The last film was shot by Soviet director Jan Fried in 1981.

  • The premiere of "Silva" took place during the First World War, the success of the operetta was such that it was put on both sides of the front: in Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire.
  • Operetta "Silva", like other works Kalman, was banned in Nazi Germany.
  • In 1954, the Hungarian playwright Istvan Bekeffi and Keller Dej напис wrote an expanded version of Silva, which was a success in Hungary.

Popular arias and numbers

Silia's output aria "Heia, heia, in den Bergen ist mein Heimatland"

The duo of Silva and Edwin "Weißt du es noch"

Boni's song "Ganz ohne Weiber geht die Chose nicht"

History of creation

The authors of the libretto, Bela Jenbach and Leo Stein, initiated the writing of the operetta in the spring of 1914. PremiereSilva"was scheduled to take place on November 13, 2015, but due to problems with the voice of one of the key artists, it was postponed to November 17, when it was held at the time of the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Vienna's Johann Strauss Theater. The premiere in Hungary took place in 1916, in Russia in 1917.

Watch the video: Arias and duets in the operettas of Strauss, Lehar, Donizetti and Puccini (October 2019).

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