As part of Folks Operetta’s Reclaimed Voices Series, CFO brings audiences Emmerich Kálmán’s operetta The Csárdás Princess. Despite its popularity in Europe and Russia, this stunning work has been largely ignored in this country. Why the neglect? One cannot ignore the politics surrounding the two world wars, as well as the trend away from anything that reminded the public of old-fashioned Viennese romanticism.
Kálmán’s mastery of the Viennese waltz and of the music of his native Hungary have made this show an enduring favorite in Europe. The story follows the ups and downs of the unlikely love affair between an aspiring young singer from the provinces and the scion of a wealthy Viennese family. Kálmán, as an assimilated Hungarian Jew living in Vienna, would have been well aware of the pitfalls of navigating the upper echelons of Viennese society. The Csárdás Princess, which takes aim at the rigid class divisions of Kálmán’s time, resonates in our own. Critics consider The Csárdás Princess to be Kálmán’s masterpiece.