Ball im Savoy
Premiere performances: 16 and 18 September 2022 at the State Opera
Thursday 6. 4.Tickets available
Wednesday 12. 4.Tickets available
Thursday 20. 4.Tickets available
Saturday 29. 4.Tickets available
Sunday 7. 5.Tickets available
Saturday 13. 5.Tickets available
Sunday 4. 6.Tickets available
Saturday 10. 6.Tickets available
The State OperaApproximate running time
3 hours, 1 intermission (30 minutes) minutesLanguage
In Czech, surtitles in Czech, EnglishPremiere
September 16, 2022
A modern operetta revue full of dance, love and funny plot twists.
State opera Chorus
State opera Orchestra
National Theatre Opera Ballet dancers led by Jiří Hejna
The operetta tells a “crazy” story full of funny conspiracies, confusion and romantic tension, with the main plot built around a fidelity test a newlywed couple have been put to. They have just returned home from their honeymoon and it seems that nothing can threaten their happy future. But on the very day of their return, the newlywed Marquis Aristide receives a letter from a certain “Prefect of Nancy”. And problems in the paradise seem to come up: the real writer of the letter is the sexy dancer Tangolita, Aristide´s former lover, who requires to meet him at the ball at the Savoy Hotel. And the Marquis decides to attend the ball…
Composer Paul Abraham has used a mix of European jazz, Hungarian czardas, tango, klezmer and classic Viennese operetta to conjure up an utterly carefree world in which one hit follows another, and, as in any good operetta, there are sopranos singing to the heavens and magical love duets. There are also musical or revue-like acts a la Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, in short, an absolute relax!
The Marquis Aristide de Faublas and his wife Madeleine have been on honeymoon for almost a year. Happy and enjoying their time in Venice, it would seem that nothing can threaten their marriage.
Aristide and Madeleine throw a party for numerous friends and other guests at their elegant villa in Nice. One of the welcoming telegrams is from the dancer Tangolita, an old flame of the Marquis. After their breakup, Aristide promised Tangolita that he would dine with her on a night of her choosing, and now she wants him to take her to the annual grand ball at the Hotel Savoy.
Facing this unpleasant situation on the very first evening he and his wife are to spend at home in Nice, Aristide asks his friend Mustafa Bey, the Turkish attach., who, a multiple divorcee, has ample experience with women, for help. And Mustafa duly comes up with a solution, advising Aristide to persuade Madeleine that he must go to the ball at the Savoy to meet the famous jazz composer Jos. Pasodoble, claiming they are old friends. Yet neither Aristide nor Mustafa has an inkling that Pasodoble is none other than Daisy Parker, Madeleine’s American cousin who, under this male pseudonym, has become a renowned composer. While in Nice, she intends to publicly disclose her true identity at the ball. Although she would like to witness Daisy’s triumph, Madeleine prefers to spend the evening, their first at home after their return, with Aristide. When her husband tells her (as Mustafa advised him) he has to go to the Savoy to see his “friend” Pasodoble, Madeleine is devastated, as she knows he is about to deceive her. Yet she says nothing and resolves to take revenge. Madeleine decides to go the Savoy and punish Aristide by flirting with other men.
Clad in a sexy robe, Madeleine appears incognito in the ballroom of the Savoy. Neither Aristide nor Mustafa recognises her. Aristide strives to charm Madeleine, who tells him many a thing he should take to heart if he suspected who the unknown beauty is. Madeleine selects Célestin, a timid young lawyer seeking the adventure of his life, as a means for her revenge. In the meantime, Mustafa is enthralled by Daisy. Having no untoward intentions and with the sole aim of honouring his promise, Aristide withdraws with Tangolita for supper to a private room, as does Madeleine with Célestin. When Aristide asks for a telephone to call his wife, the waiter Pomerol, no stranger to such delicate situations, diverts the line to Madeleine’s dining room, so she can answer pretending to be at home. The ball commences. The highlight of the evening is a performance by Jos. Pasodoble, alias Daisy Parker. In her speech, broadcast on the radio, she reveals her identity and proceeds to inform her father in the US that she will not marry the rich man, he chose for her, and announces her engagement to Mustafa. Yet an even more sensational revelation is to follow – there is consternation when Madeleine publicly declares that she has betrayed her husband.
Next morning, back at their villa, Aristide is plagued by doubt as to whether Madeleine really has been unfaithful to him. As she continues to claim she has, he summons a lawyer in order to start divorce proceedings. The lawyer who appears is Célestin. Madeleine tells Aristide that it was he who kept her company at the ball. Mustafa then makes Célestin believe that Aristide and he wagered whether the woman with whom Célestin spent the evening was, or only feigned to be, a true lady. Célestin confirms that his partner at the ball was indeed a virtuous woman, but his detailed description of her charm further increases the general tension. When Daisy confronts Madeleine, who was not present during Célestin’s testimony, telling her cousin what the young lawyer said, Madeleine finally ceases to play her game. Neither her husband nor she betrayed the other, and Aristide and Madeleine reunite. Everyone celebrates the couple’s happy reconciliation.
Note: Singers will be equipped with ports during the performance.
Suitable for audiences aged 12 and over.
Project Musica non grata revives the artistic legacy of male and female composers important to the musical life of interwar Czechoslovakia who were persecuted by National Socialism or for religious, racial, political or gender reasons. Musica non grata is the international music and cultural project of the Czech Republic and Germany, initiated and organized by the National Theatre in Prague and financially supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
More information on NT websites or here.
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Where to buy tickets
The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. On 1 February at 9am we started selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika until the end of July 2023.
What to wear?
By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.
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