Counting on the Count

Oct 8 2014 | By More

Rare performance of Lehar operetta

Opera Comerata is bringing a rare production of The Count of Luxembourg by Franz Lehar to the Church Hill Theatre this week.

The principal cast. Photo: Ross Main

The principal cast. Photo: Ross Main

Written in 1909, The Count of Luxembourg reunited Lehar with the successful team of Basil Hood and Adrian Ross, who had written the English lyrics and libretto for the hugely successful Merry Widow. Although the later work never achieved the Widow’s success, it ran for a very reputable 345 performances after opening in London in 1911.

Set in Paris around 1912, The Count of Luxembourg tells the story of the Grand Duke Basil who wants to marry the famous opera singer Angèle Didier, but cannot because she has no title. To seek a solution, he arranges a marriage between Angèle and the penniless René, the Count of Luxembourg.

The wedding ceremony is performed without them seeing each other and in exchange for half a million francs, René agrees to leave Paris and return to divorce Angèle 3 months later. Angèle will then have a title and the Grand Duke can marry her.

Of course, Angèle and the Count fall in love and a happy ending is beautifully worked out – greatly enriched by Lehar’s romantic and lilting music.

This is the first time the operetta has been performed in Edinburgh since Southern Light brought a production in 1996 – and it was first performed in the city in 1912.

Opera Camarata are bringing a company of 32 to the Church Hill Theatre, under the direction of Elspeth Williamson. MD Alison Rushworth takes charge of an orchestra of 17 players.

Opera Camerata’s principal cast is:
Angèle Didier  –  Fiona Main
Juliette  –  Susanne Horsburgh
Princess Kokozov  –  Anna Hainsworth
René, Count of Luxembourg  –  Mike Towers
Grand Duke Basil  –  George Ross
André Brissard  –  Neil French
Mentchikoff  –  Stuart Clelland
Pavlovitch  –  Roger Robertson
Pelegrin  –  Richard Bull
Saville  –  Graham Drew
Marchand  –  Ross Main

Tickets, priced £12 are available from the Usher Hall box office:


The Count of Luxembourg
Church Hill Theatre, 33a Morningside Road, EH10 4DR
Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 September 2014
Daily 7.30pm (ends 10.15pm).


Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.