The Merry Widow, London Coliseum - ★★★★★ - Until April 13, 2019


The very merriest of Merry Widows. Viennese operetta is a minefield, it can be too schmaltzy or a send up - although it should be remembered that the original 1905 production had elements of low farce too. To my astonishment, this production gets it spot on. Glamorous, amusing, slick and, most importantly, beautifully sung. The excellent and clever production by Max Webster in gorgeous sets by Ben Stones looks terrific on a raised and reduced gold-framed stage. The Second Act is an especially stunning spectacle. It was nice to begin with the rarely heard and much later overture especially when played so well under Martin Fitzpatrick who allowed the beautiful Lehar melodies a chance to weave their perennial magic. Nathan Gunn is perfectly cast as Danilo and sounds superb. Sarah Tynan looks stunning throughout as Hanna with her lovely soprano shining through. Vilja sounded and looked fabulous. Andrew Shore sailed through as the cuckolded Baron Zeta with Rhian Lois and Robert Murray singing gloriously as his wife and her lover. OK, one or two of the jokes are a bit cheap but the audience – including this old cynic - loved every glorious minute of this glorious pinnacle of operetta.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Running until April 13, 2019
London Coliseum
Nearest tube: Covent Garden
https://www.eno.org/whats-on/the-merry-widow

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