Zaza 1280x680 © Hermine Karigl-Wagenhofer

Commedia lirica in four acts (1919)

Music by Ruggero Leoncavallo

Libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo and Carlo Zangarini

based on the play by Pierre Berton and Charles Simon

In Italian with German surtitles

New production of Theater an der Wien

Premiere: Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 7 pm

Performances: 18 / 21 / 23 / 25 / 27 September 2020, 7 pm

Introduction matinée: 13 September 2020, 11 am

Synopsis

Zazà is the acclaimed star of the Alcazar variety theatre in St. Etienne, a provincial French town somewhere beyond the outskirts of Paris. All the men adore her, with the exception of the Parisian businessman Milio Dufresne who seems to prefer her rival, Floriana. What seems unobtainable becomes the thing most desired: Zazà has long had her eye on the obstinate man and now enters into a wager with the journalist Bussy that he will fall for her in next to no time. The conquest is easy for her, since Milio secretly desires Zazà but has not yet had the courage to approach a woman coveted by so many, not least because he fears for his reputation. Zazà’s bold attempt to seduce him quickly dispels his misgivings and the two become lovers. However, this conquest prompted by ambition proves Zazà’s undoing. She falls deeply in love with Milio, and wants to marry him and leave the music hall behind. But the dream is shattered when Cascart, her stage colleague and former lover, tells her that he saw Milio in Paris with another woman. Furious, Zazà travels to Paris and bursts into Milio’s flat to fight for her future with her rival. But the only person she finds there is a little girl: Totò, Milio’s daughter. The girl tells the nice stranger all about her mother and that the little family will soon be going to America. Gradually Zazà realises that Milio is married and has been lying to her about his circumstances all along. When Madame Dufresne eventually comes home she is surprised to see a stranger in her living room. Zazà tells her that she accidentally came to the wrong address and then leaves. She decides not to destroy the family’s happiness, remembering her own childhood misery and not wishing to inflict the same fate on little Totò: Zazà's father left her mother Anaide who then took to drink. When Milio next comes to Zazà she ends their affair. He then reveals to her his true, conservative attitudes, and she is left without so much as a happy memory of romantic love. She sadly accepts that her fate is to be a music hall star.

Cast

Conductor

Stefan Soltész

Biography
Director

Christof Loy

Biography
Stage design

Raimund Orfeo Voigt

Biography
Costume design

Herbert Murauer

Biography
Choreography

Thomas Wilhelm

Biography
Light design

Reinhard Traub

Biography
Dramaturgy

Klaus Bertisch

Biography
Zazá

Svetlana Aksenova

Biography
Milio Dufresne

Nikolai Schukoff

Biography
Cascart, Sänger

Christopher Maltman

Biography
Floriana, Sängerin / Signora Dufresne

Dorothea Herbert

Biography
Anaide, Zazás Mutter

Enkelejda Shkosa

Biography
Natalia, Zazás Zofe

Juliette Mars

Biography
Bussy, Journalist

Tobias Greenhalgh

Biography
Courtois, Impresario

Paul Schweinester

Biography
Duclou, Regisseur

Dumitru Mădăraşăn

Biography
Marco / Augusto

Johannes Bamberger

Biography
Totó Dufresne

Livia Gallenga / Vittoria Antonuzzo

Biography
Orchestra

ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien

Biography
Choir

Arnold Schoenberg Chor (Ltg. Erwin Ortner)

Biography

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