Countess Maritza
Gräfin Mariza is an operetta
Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is also closely related, in English-language works, to forms of musical theatre.-Origins:...

 in three acts composed by Hungarian composer Emmerich Kálmán
Emmerich Kalman
Emmerich Kálmán was a Hungarian-born composer of operettas.- Biography :Kálmán was born Imre Koppstein in Siófok, on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, Hungary in a Jewish family.Kálmán initially intended to become a concert pianist, but because of early-onset arthritis, he focused on composition...

, with a libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald
Alfred Grünwald (librettist)
Alfred Grünwald was an Austrian author, librettist, and lyricist. Some of his better-known works were written in conjunction with the composers Franz Lehár, Emmerich Kálmán, Oscar Straus, Paul Abraham, and Robert Stolz.After the Anschluss the family emigrated to the United States in 1940 via France...

. It premiered in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 on 28 February 1924 at the Theater an der Wien
Theater an der Wien
The Theater an der Wien is a historic theatre on the Left Wienzeile in the Mariahilf district of Vienna. Completed in 1801, it has seen the premieres of many celebrated works of theatre, opera, and symphonic music...


English adaptations

As Countess Maritza, it made its New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 debut at the Shubert Theatre
Shubert Theatre (Broadway)
The Shubert Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 225 West 44th Street in midtown-Manhattan, New York, United States.Designed by architect Henry Beaumont Herts, it was named after Sam S. Shubert, the second oldest of the three brothers of the theatrical producing family...

, in an adaptation by Harry B. Smith, and with interpolated music by other composers, on 18 September 1926, playing 318 performances. Since the 1981 production by the Lubo Opera Company, however, most American productions have been straightforward English translations of the original, with Kálmán's music intact.

As Maritza, it opened in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 at the Palace Theatre
Palace Theatre, London
The Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in the City of Westminster in London. It is an imposing red-brick building that dominates the west side of Cambridge Circus and is located near the intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road...

 on 6 July 1938.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 28 February 1924
(Conductor: )
Countess Mariza soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

Betty Fischer
Prince Populescu baritone
Baritone is a type of male singing voice that lies between the bass and tenor voices. It is the most common male voice. Originally from the Greek , meaning deep sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C Baritone (or...

Richard Waldemar
Baron Kolomán Zsupán, landowner of Varaždin tenor
The tenor is a type of male singing voice and is the highest male voice within the modal register. The typical tenor voice lies between C3, the C one octave below middle C, to the A above middle C in choral music, and up to high C in solo work. The low extreme for tenors is roughly B2...

Max Hansen
Count Tassilo of Endrödy-Wittemburg tenor Hubert Marischka
Hubert Marischka
Hubert Marischka , brother of Ernst Marischka, was an Austrian operetta tenor, actor, film director and screenwriter.- Career :...

Lisa, Tassilo's sister soprano Elsie Altmann
Karl Stefan Liebenberg bass
Princess Božena Guddenstein zu Clumetz contralto
Contralto is the deepest female classical singing voice, with the lowest tessitura, falling between tenor and mezzo-soprano. It typically ranges between the F below middle C to the second G above middle C , although at the extremes some voices can reach the E below middle C or the second B above...

Penižek, her valet spoken Hans Moser
Hans Moser (actor)
Hans Moser was an Austrian actor who, during his long career, from the 1920s up to his death, mainly played in comedy films. He was particularly associated with the genre of the Wiener Film...

Tschekko, an old butler of Mariza's
Berko, a gypsy
Manja, a young gypsy soprano
Village children, guests, dancers, gypsies, peasant boys and peasant girls

Act I

At the castle of the countess Mariza

At the terrace of a castle with an adjacent park. Countess Mariza spends a long time of her life in the city, so she trusts her rural estate to her bailiff — Count Tassilo, who is operating under the name of Török. Tassilo hopes to earn a dowry for his sister Lisa — she doesn't know about the impoverishment of the family. He rather likes his service: he has never seen his mistress, just sends her the rents, and the servants and peasants treat him well. But this idyll is to come to an end: prince Populescu, an old Don Juan, comes and announces that countess Mariza will follow to celebrate her engagement there.
Suddenly, she appears: A gorgeous, lively, but also a capricious young woman, who wants to disclose and celebrate the engagement with Baron Kolomán Zsupán. All guests have already arrived, but the engagement is only a fake, she secretly confesses to a friend, to get rid of her admirers.

She invented a fiancee to herself, based on the recollection of Strauss' operetta, "The Gypsy Baron". She announces that he was delayed by some business, and the engagement party will go on without him. But then, suddenly, he appears! Baron Zhupan read about his own "engagement" in the papers, and decided to come. He meets Mariza and they sing a duet together, "Do not laugh, Mariza, but marry I should". Mariza introduces her "fiancee" to the guests and they all go out to the park. There they surprise sad Tassilio, who sings an aria "In the spring stillness a gypsy sings afar", which he ends with a czardas. Both Mariza and the guests see it, and Mariza orders him to repeat it. He refuses, and the angry countess announces, that he is fired.

The guests are leaving the estate to go to the town, and get dissipated in cabarets. Maritza meets a young gypsy Manja who predicts that she will be very happy in love. "One moon will pass over this Earth and Mariza will find her happiness", she sings. Mariza refuses to go and stays on her estate.
She stops Tassilio from leaving and apologises. She repeats the refrain of his aria "Hey, gypsy", and their duet ends Act I.

Act 2

Scene 1: Mariza's estate park

Visitors came to visit Mariza. Lisa, Tassilo's sister, who does not know that he is a manager here, and Zsupan, who came to visit his "fiancee". They like each other and Zhupan repeats twenty times that if he didn't love Mariza, he would have dreamed about Liza tonight. Tassilo is surprised and happy to meet his sister. In a duet "Come here and sit down", they recollect their childhood.

Scene 2: A parlour in Mariza's house

A month of her solitude has passed; guests are coming. They make fun of Tassilo. He writes a letter to his friend, to tell him that he endures a lot, but Lisa is his only close relative, and he will endure everything for her dowry. He stops writing it abruptly when Mariza comes in. Together, they sing a duet, a confession of love ("My tender friend!") Populescu tells Mariza that he saw her manager in the park with a pretty girl, and he finds the unfinished letter where Tassilo speaks about a dowry. Mariza does not know that Tassilo has a sister, so she sees him as a dowry-hunter. The finale of the Second act is a dramatic scene with an aria "Hey, Mariza, be calm, hey, Mariza, endure this pain", chaffing of the guests, perplexed Tassilo... Mariza humiliates and insults him, and throws him out. Lisa comes, runs towards her brother, and they leave together. Mariza understands that she's made a mistake.

Act 3

The next morning Zsupan proposes to Lisa in the park. They sing a merry duet together "A lad loved a lass". An old aunt of Tassilo arrives, who announces that she has bought back Tassilo's estate from his debtors and left it to him. Tassilo comes to Mariza to report the estate conditions. They reconcile. Two couples end the operetta by singing together "Time passes but love does not wait."


Kalman: Gräfin Mariza, Wiener Opernball Orch.
  • Conductor: Uwe Theimer
  • Principal singers: Izabela Labuda (Mariza), Martina Dorak (Lisa), Ryszard Karczykowski (Tassilo), Moritz Gogg (Zsupán)
  • Recording date:
  • Label: Camarata, CD CM 660-1


There are a number of film versions of the operetta, including : Gräfin Mariza (1932), directed by Richard Oswald
Richard Oswald
Richard Oswald was an Austrian director, producer, and screenwriter.Richard Oswald, born in Vienna as Richard W. Ornstein, began his career as an actor on the Viennese stage. He made his film directorial debut at age 34 with Das Eiserne Kreuz...

 with Dorothea Wieck
Dorothea Wieck
Dorothea Wieck was a German theatre and film actress.- Career :Wieck made her debut in 1926 and appeared in several silent films...

 and Hubert Marischka
Hubert Marischka
Hubert Marischka , brother of Ernst Marischka, was an Austrian operetta tenor, actor, film director and screenwriter.- Career :...

; Gräfin Mariza (1958), directed by Rudolf Schündler
Rudolf Schündler
Rudolf Ernst Paul Schündler was a German actor.- Filmography :-External links:*...

 with Christine Görner and Rudolf Schock
Rudolf Schock
Rudolf Johann Schock was a German tenor.He sang a wide repertory from operetta to Lohengrin, recording among others opera and lieder, doing television, radio and film work. Slim and handsome, he made many films.His voice fell almost into the heldentenor fach but was smaller and more...

; Gräfin Mariza (1974), directed by Eugen York with Ljuba Welitsch
Ljuba Welitsch
Ljuba Welitsch was a celebrated Bulgarian, later Austrian, operatic soprano.She studied singing at Sofia Conservatory with professor Georgi Zlatev-Cherkin. After specializing in Vienna, she first appeared in Sofia in 1936...

 and René Kollo
René Kollo
René Kollo is a German tenor.-Biography:He was born René Kollodzieyski in Berlin and grew up in Wyk auf Föhr. He attended a photography school in Hamburg, although he had always been interested in music, particularly conducting. He did not begin to perform until the mid-50s...

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