By Leo Fall
FOLKS OPERETTA U.S. PREMIERE 2011
Directed by Kathryn Kamp. Conducted by John Frantzen.
Leo Fall’s early career mirrored that of his famous contemporary Franz Lehár. Both were born in provinces of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and soon moved to the imperial capital, Vienna. There they both wrote a series of glorious operettas. Fall’s The Rose of Stambul, set in Ottoman Turkey, is a sparkling masterpiece that ran for fifteen months, the most successful such work since Lehár’s The Merry Widow, composed eleven years earlier. The plot offers comedy, mistaken identity, cultural misunderstandings, exoticism, and, of course, a romance that must overcome various obstacles, while Fall’s melodies are exquisitely beautiful, with numerous hit songs.