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Franz Lehár

The Merry Widow

2 h 40 min, incl. 1 interval (30 min)
13.2.2025 – 9.4.2025
Main Stage
On sale date
Tickets will go on sale on 2 October at 12 p.m.
Price range
21–113 €
Finnish. Surtitles in Finnish, Swedish and English
Age recommendation

A game of wicked and whimsical liaisons

As the curtain rises, it feels as if you’re stepping into a grand, splendid celebration. Franz Lehár’s (1870–1948) effervescent operetta The Merry Widow offers a taste of genuine old world glamour, aristocratic reverie, catchy melodies, and can-can.

This operetta, a playful take on the relationship entanglements of a wealthy young widow, has been presented at the Finnish National Opera a record-breaking 313 times. In spring 2025, it will be performed in Finnish, with soprano Mari Palo shining in the title role.

”If I was a Parisian,
I’d almost be amused,
But as a Pontevedrian,
I’m thoroughly confused.

Is it my grace? Is it my face?
Or my looks I should thank?
Or maybe it’s the fact
I have millions in the bank.”

– the merry widow


The people of the fictional principality of Pontevedro want to keep the fortune of Hanna Glavari, a rich young widow, within the country’s borders. Baron Mirko Zeta comes up with an ingenious strategy: the First Secretary of the embassy, Danilo, must marry her. Danilo is found at Maxim’s cabaret, but he refuses to propose to Anna, though he used to be in love with her. He does, however, promise to fob off her Parisian suitors.

The relationship between Camille and Baron Zeta’s wife, Valencienne, faces no obstacles, though. When Baron Zeta is about to discover them alone at a pavilion, Hanna saves the day by taking the place of the Baroness, which makes Danilo jealous. Hanna reveals she will lose her fortune if she remarries, and Danilo finally dares to propose to her – but Hanna still has another surprise in store.

Full synopsis and other background information can be found in the programme leaflet.

creative team

Franz Lehár
Kurt Kopecky
Libretto based on the comedy by Henri Meilhac
Victor Léon, Leo Stein
Jussi Tapola
Jussi Tapola
Sets and costumes
Anna Kontek
Lighting design
Olli-Pekka Koivunen
Juhani W. Rytkölä


Baron Mirko Zeta
Jouni Kokora
Iris Candelaria
Count Danilovich
Jussi Vänttinen
Hanna Glavari
Mari Palo
Hanna Glavari
Johanna Lehesvuori
Camille de Rosillon
Markus Nykänen
Viscount Cascada
Mika Nikander
Raoul de St. Brioche
Akseli Ferrand
Hannu Forsberg
Annika Leino
Ari Hosio
Andrus Mitt
Tuula Paavola
Jukka Romu

listen to the merry widow

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