Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of Countess Maritza brings a party atmosphere to the Royal Theatre in April and May. Photo by Jo-Ann Richards

Intrigue and romance in POV’s newest opera

Pacific Opera Victoria throws a party with Countess Maritza, featuring Kálmán’s beautiful music

Robert Moyes

Monday Magazine contributor

After breaking our hearts in February with La Traviata, Pacific Opera Victoria breaks out the bubbly and puts on a party hat with Countess Maritza, an effervescent charmer from what’s known as the Silver Age of Viennese Operetta.

The second great success of Hungarian composer Emmerich Kálmán, Countess dates from 1924 and is a classic romantic comedy with a twisty plot full of deceptions and misunderstandings that inevitably culminates with loving hearts and a happy ending.

The star of the show is Kálmán’s gorgeous music, featuring a buoyant fusion of Viennese waltz with Hungarian folk tunes. Very much influenced by both Puccini and Tchaikovsky, Kálmán was a skilled composer whose many operettas brought him worldwide fame and a stature equivalent to that of Franz Lehar, the other great 20th-century master of these elegant musical confections.

The plot, worthy of a screwball comedy, centres on the bewitching Countess Maritza, a young widow who is so tired of the attentions of a multitude of pesky suitors that in order to get some peace she has invented an entirely fictional fiancé. But when she decides to throw a fancy dinner party at her country estate, the complications begin to pile up.

Most notably, along comes a Baron who is indulging his curiosity, insofar as he shares the identical name as the Countess’s supposed fiancé. Enchanted by the Countess, the Baron quickly shows an alarming interest in marrying this woman he has just met.

Further intrigue arrives in the person of a seemingly lowly bailiff, in actuality an impoverished Count who is working incognito to earn a dowry for his lovely sister, Lisa. Add in a gypsy fortune teller, then stir the pot with some gentle schemings and romantic misalliances, and the stage is set for a nostalgic, old-fashioned and highly entertaining evening of captivating music and fizzy frivolity.

Countess Maritza runs April 25 to May 5 at the Royal Theatre. For tickets, visit rmts.bc.ca, call 250-386-6121 or drop by the Royal or McPherson theatre box office.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Live musicOpera

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police investigating chop-shop found in Beacon Hill Park

Police asking public to register bikes with them in case lost or stolen

Island Health issues Victoria overdose advisory

Health authority warns of increase in overdoses from opioids and stimulants

Residents welcomed to The Summit in Victoria’s Quadra Village

Modern 320-bed facility designed for people with complex care needs including dementia

Victoria considers extending free transit passes for youth

Motion for extension of funding comes to council July 16

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Most Read