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Turn of the century Paris provides the glittering setting for Franz Lehar's immortal operetta, first performed in Vienna in 1905 and here given by the Australian Opera in the English version by Christopher Hassall, with Joan Sutherland as the widow Anna Glawari. The fate of Pontevedro, her native country, hangs perilously on her marriage plans - if she weds a foreigner, the state will lose her enormous wealth and will be left bankrupt. An embassy plot to marry her off to the debonair Count Damilo Danilovitch is complicated by the secret affair which has developed between the French Attache Camille de Rosillon and the ambassador's wife, Valencienne. This light-hearted tale of political and amorous intrigue unfolds amidst the gaiety of Parisian high society. Ronald Stevens sings Danilo, with Anson Austin as Camille and Anne-Maree McDonald as Valencienne. Joan Sutherland reveals another facet of her genius in her superb command of the Viennese operetta style; she is utterly captivating. Directed with elegance and a glorious sense of fun by Lofti Mansouri and conducted with great aplomb by Richard Bonynge, this is a complete production. 155 minutes color, in English, recorded live from the Sydney Opera House on February 23, 1988.
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