“Der Opernball,” meaning “The Opera Ball” in English is an operetta split in three acts with music by Richard Heuberger. Based on the 1876 comedy “Les Dominos Roses,” by Alfred Delacour and Alfred Hennequin, the libretto is by Viktor Leon and Heinrich von Waldberg. Heuberger was assisted by Alexander von Zemlinsky with the orchestration. “Der Opernball” premiered at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, Austria, in January 1898. The most famous number from the operetta is its waltz duet “Gehen Wir Ins Chambre Separee.” An operetta is much lighter in text and subject than an opera and “Der Opernball” is a lighthearted situational comedy about a married provincial couple who go to visit their friends in the capital.
The men are looking for some extra spice in their life and the women find this a good opportunity to put their fidelity to the test. Each man is invited to the opera ball, with the invitation signed by a mysterious stranger. They are given a clue to what to look out for at the distinctive feature: a pink domino. Three men end up chasing the women with pink dominos at the opera ball, and the following morning they are none the wiser as to which woman was actually lying in their arms.
Paul Aubier and his wife Angele are guests of Georges and Marguerite Dumenil. Marguerite is skeptical of the fidelity of men in marriage, and she persuades Angele to put their husbands to the test. On their instructions, the chambermaid Hortense writes two identical letters which invite Paul and Georges to Stelldichein to an opera ball at the Paris Opera, where they will meet a lady with a pink domino as part of her dress. Secretly, Hortense writes a third such letter for Henri, because she wants to appear also with the pink domino.
As customary, everyone is masked at the opera ball. Beaubuisson and the singer Feodara are one couple. Of the three ladies with the pink domino, Henri spots the pink domino on Hortense, Georges on Angele, and Paul on Marguerite. Both Georges and Paul hope to meet their mysterious lady each in a ‘chambre separee.’ As per the plan, Angele and Marguerite have arranged for a bell signal, at whose sound the lovers will meet outside the rooms. In the confusion, Paul and Georges meet each other, and not the expected lady. Furthermore, they then see Hortense with the pink domino, not knowing who she is. A comedy of errors ensue to keep the fun going.
The operetta opens on December 11, 2018, at Volksoper, Wahringerstrasse 78, A-1090 Vienna
For details, visit https://www.volksoper.at
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the operetta.
Founder: Louise Blouin