The operetta ( Italian , literally: "little opera") is a musical stage work. The name has been around since the 17th century. By the 20th century it had undergone a significant change in meaning. The operetta since the 19th century has rather light, catchy music, a cheerful or sentimental plot and spoken dialogues between the musical numbers.
Operetta as a small opera
In the 18th century operetta meant the "little" opera , either because it was shorter than other works (especially one-act plays were called "operetta"), because it "merely" had a comedy plot in contrast to opera seria or tragedy lyrique , or because only a few characters appeared in it without a choir. In addition, some musical theater works were called "operettas" because they did not require virtuoso singers, but could be performed by singing actors. A simpler structure of the vocal interludes could also be decisive for this designation: In the vaudeville comedies of the Parisian fairground theaters , well-known melodies with new texts were inserted, which was preserved in the Spanish operetta ( Zarzuela ) into the 20th century.
Operetta as a German opera
German-language operas, including more demanding ones, were sometimes called “operettas” because they were less important than Italian and French operas. German was still underestimated compared to French, the international language of the aristocracy. German-language operas mostly had a comedy plot and thus socially inferior characters (see class clause , touching comedy ).
The reputation of the German-language operetta as a “bourgeois German opera” that finally deserved an upgrade arose in Vienna at the end of the 19th century, with the Viennese works by Johann Strauss (son) or Millöcker as a deliberate alternative to the Parisian works Jacques Offenbachs who were seen as grotesquely frivolous; nationalist and anti-Semitic tendencies play a role.
Operetta as a non-court opera
At the end of the 18th century, pieces that had emerged from the French Opéra comique were referred to as operettas, i.e. operas that contained spoken dialogue instead of sung recitatives and came from the Parisian fair theater instead of the court stages. Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio , for example, was considered an operetta.
The genre, which is now called operetta in a narrower sense, emerged as an independent art form in Paris around 1848, but was not called "operetta" at that time, but rather "opérette bouffe" (in the case of one-act plays, hence the diminutive) and "opéra bouffe" "(For multi-act)," bouffonnerie musicale "or" folie musicale ". The direct model was the Opéra comique of the 1830s and 40s, such as François Auber's Le Cheval de bronze (1835). The first “operettas” were originally short works with grotesquely frivolous content. One of the first composers was Florimond Ronger, known as Hervé (1825-1892), whose best-known pieces include Don Quichotte et Sancho Pança (1848), Le Petit Faust (1869) and Mam'zelle Nitouche (1883).
Jacques Offenbach's Buffoneries
Another composer became famous with this type of musical theater. The cellist Jacques Offenbach , who was Kapellmeister at the Comédie-Française , opened a theater, the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens , dedicated exclusively to this genre on the occasion of the World Exhibition of 1855 in Paris . Entrez Messieurs, Mesdames , together with Les Deux Aveugles and Une nuit blanche , kicked off on July 7, 1855. Famous works such as Le Violoneux , the Chinoiserie musicale Ba-ta-clan (both 1855), the crusader satirical Croquefer, ou le dernier des Paladins , the bucolic comedy Le Mariage aux lanternes (both 1857) and the bubbling market women in followed soon after Mesdames de la Halle (1858), who reinvigorated the poissard genre of fairs. Just like Hervé's early works, Offenbach's early farces were also committed to vaudeville and in some cases more to plays with music, or - as Meyer's Konversations-Lexikon noted in 1877 - "a kind of farce that is usually referred to by the name of higher nonsense." musical area transferred ”.
Offenbach repeatedly parodies the bel canto opera and the grand opéra à la Meyerbeer in the early one-acts . Their stylistic devices, which Offenbach had mastered well, looked ridiculous in the small theater setting. In order to take the wind out of the sails of critics, Offenbach declared in a treatise published in 1856 that he wanted to revive the old opéra comique of the 18th century with his works . However, Offenbach's pieces (with a few exceptions such as Barkouf and Vert-Vert ) were not shown in the respectable bourgeois setting of the Opéra-Comique , but in front of the semi- global audience of the Parisian operetta stages. This audience included the Jockey Club, but also members of the imperial family, such as Charles de Morny , who was not only the godfather of Offenbach's son, but also wrote libretti for Offenbach under a pseudonym ( M. Choufleuri restera chez lui le ... ). In Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1877 it is said that Offenbach's works are "so permeated by the spirit of the demi-monde that they have to exert a decidedly demoralizing effect on the larger public with their slippery materials and sensual, mostly trivial tones". Similar statements can be found in almost all contemporary reviews, also in England, Germany and Austria. But they had more of a positive effect than a negative effect on the reception of Offenbach's works. However, this explains why Offenbach's operettas did not run in the established court theaters and on the bourgeois stages for a long time, but often in special establishments that were viewed with skepticism by large parts of the public. In London, and later also in Paris and Vienna, the era of inexpensive small theaters began in 1850, which were opened in large numbers as Music Halls and separated a sub-bourgeois audience from the upper-class, who still attended the established theaters.
An essential design feature of all Offenbach operettas was the grotesque , the ludicrously distorted depiction of reality, often only slightly disguised in costumes from antiquity, the Middle Ages, the working class (as in Mesdames de la Halle ) or country life (as in Mariage aux lanternes ). The plays are thus partly models of Dadaism of the 1920s and the absurd theater of the 1950s, but are ignored in this capacity in most literary-historical treatises. This concept of the operetta allowed a strikingly permissive play of eroticism on stage, which under normal or realistic circumstances the censorship in Paris would never have allowed, but was possible under the guise of parody. In the German-speaking area, people were even less used to such freedom of movement on stage. Here the press spoke of "the immense frivolity of [...] Offenbach's musical farces", of the "profligacy [...] of the whole genre" and judged Offenbach with "concern about the morally endangering composer", whose works are the "negation of all moral u. legal order ”.
Since the one-act plays were often played in combination, different forms of operetta emerged, which were contrasted against each other. In Offenbach's case, the two main types are either “rural comedies” such as Le Mariage aux lanternes (a sensational success in Vienna under the title The wedding by the lantern light , with three women in tightly laced dirndls as milkmaids who stumble through the action while “milking” and one looking for a rich man for life) or over-the- top farces like Croquefer or Ba-ta-clan , which bring a new dimension of slapstick to the stage. All of these works are characterized by three characteristics, which are in the foreground to different degrees: the grotesque, frivolous and sentimental.
In 1858 Offenbach's first multi-act operetta with choir and extended soloists, Orphée aux enfers (text book by Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy ), premiered in Paris and began a triumphal march around the world. Together with La Belle Hélène (1864) and La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (1867) - both with textbooks by Henri Meilhac and Halévy - the piece is still part of today's operetta repertoire. Since the hell gallop from Orpheus , the "scandal dance" Cancan has been closely linked to the operetta.
But other French composers such as Charles Lecocq , Hervé or Robert Planquette were also able to distinguish themselves with the new genre and developed Offenbach's model of the frivolous grotesque operetta.
Offenbach's fame in France faded with the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71. The ludicrous satires of the “German” composer were less appreciated after the French defeat. Offenbach's demi-world audience, typical of the Second Empire , shifted to the many new music halls with their variety programs, and the bourgeois audience of the “real” theaters wanted to see less grotesque and frivolous pieces. From then on Offenbach devoted himself to extravagant pieces of equipment , which in many cases still have characteristics of the typical Offenbachiade, for example when in Le Voyage dans la lune (1875) the inhabitants of the moon are tempted to fall into sin with the help of a forbidden apple.
In the 1870s, Emmanuel Chabrier and later André Messager were also successful with operettas, the former with ludicrous slapstick comedies that were strongly oriented towards Offenbach such as L'étoile (1877), which corresponded to the new type of Schwank , the latter with more sentimental pieces such as Véronique ( 1898). Because of the strong anti-French resentment , numerous French works in German-speaking countries went unnoticed after 1871. La fille de Madame Angot (1873) and Giroflé-Girofla (1874) by Lecocq and Mam'zelle Nitouche (1883) by Hervé are among the world's most successful operettas, but have remained almost unknown in the German-speaking area. Communication between Paris and London worked better - and increasingly also with New York.
In an effort to copy the success of the Offenbach operettas imported (and translated) by Karl Treumann (1823–1877) and Johann Nepomuk Nestroy (1801–1862), independent Viennese works based on the Parisian model emerged from 1860 onwards. Franz von Suppè kicked off with the one-act play Das Pensionat , soon followed by other composers, of whom Johann Strauss , Karl Millöcker and Carl Zeller are the best known and most influential. The early Viennese operettas were played in traditional Viennese suburban theaters, which no longer wanted to devote themselves to the artisan audience for which the “ Posse mit Gesang” was once intended, but instead sought to attract a wealthy middle class. The Carl Theater and the Theater an der Wien were joined by new venues such as the Theater am Franz-Josefs-Kai and the Strampfer Theater . Due to the pricing policy alone, it was not possible for the general public to visit these theaters. In addition to the members of the imperial family, those circles gathered there that had re-established themselves after the uprisings of 1848: “The financial world, the affluent middle class, the mushroom-like parvenus of the stock exchange in the sunshine of the economic boom, and the lush in the stalks Shooting half-worlds, which displayed their luxury in the vanity fair of the (Prater-) Hauptallee ”, as the Illustrirte Zeitung noted (May 21, 1881). The Viennese operetta was strongly influenced by the Viennese waltz , which was to become a special distinguishing feature of the genre in its Austrian variant well into the 20th century.
Groundbreaking works of the early Viennese operetta, which was strongly oriented towards Offenbach, were Franz von Suppès' moderately frivolous farces Das Pensionat (1860), Ten Girls and No Man (1862, expanded to twenty-five girls and no man because of the great success ), The beautiful Galathée (1865 ), or multi-act like Boccaccio (after the Decamerone , 1879) as well as the successful titles of Johann Strauss, above all Die Fledermaus (in which everyone wants to cheat, 1874), The Queen's Lace Cloth (about the marital problems of the King of Portugal, 1880) and One Night in Venice (about an erotically confused Carnival night , 1883). These operettas were more operatic and more “sounding” in the orchestra than the French models. The Theater an der Wien had different traditions and was much larger than Offenbach's “Bouffes”. Suppès' operetta scores did not differ significantly from the play operas that he had had to write for years as a resident composer for this theater, nor were they perceived by the critics as a new genre.
Due to the popularity of the new genre, new audiences were tapped, who often had less liberal moral ideas than the original operetta audience. The Franco-German War of 1870/71 also dampened the frivolities. This shifted the accent of the operetta away from the frivolous and grotesque to the sentimental and sentimental. In addition, the difference between the moral and the amoral served a “national” audience as a contrast between German and French. This audience wanted to counter the “stupid” and “crazy” French operettas with the “sensible” Viennese, the “lascivious” with the “folk” and, ultimately, with the “foreign” with the “fatherland”. "The political implications became obvious: The demands on the operetta schedule could no longer be separated from the spread of nationalism and anti-Semitism." For example, French works, or operettas based on the French model, were increasingly being superseded by an "old German fashion" for the Millöckers Volksoper The Seven Swabians (1887) can be considered a prime example. The journalist and later founder of Zionism Theodor Herzl created the operetta Des Teufels Weib (1890) together with Adolf Müller junior , while the Viennese cultural politician and theater founder Adam Müller-Guttenbrunn campaigned against “Jewish journalism” in theater life.
From then on, Viennese operetta increasingly strove towards game opera - with Der Zigeunerbaron (1885) as the most famous example to this day - and towards seriousness. "Heroes with exemplary character" suddenly appeared in the plays for the audience, such as Barinkay in the Gypsy Baron , Symon in Der Bettelstudent (1882) or Conte Erminio in Gasparone (1884). Johann Strauss' Simplicius (1887) is also a kind of national folk opera with thoroughly serious moments. That was the opposite of what had once made the species so attractive. Oscar Bie summarized this in 1914 as follows: “The ideal requirement [of the operetta] always remains that it has no meaning. We have enough meaning in life, here we want to crown the nonsense. [...] In the meantime the Paris operetta has returned to the comic opera and the operatic allure of the Viennese has become more conscious. The operetta is thereby lost. It will be a simpler opera, but she has little idea of the brilliance of her individuality. A false ambition has come over her, which she would have laughed at so wonderfully even in her best times. ”Nonetheless, the newly created Viennese operettas of the era were very successful and were re-enacted many times abroad (up to America). The first heyday of specifically Viennese operetta lasted until the turn of the century, with Richard Heuberger's Der Opernball (1898) as the final point. After the sensational success of Franz Lehár's The Merry Widow (1905), a second heyday was ushered in, in which almost all German-language operettas followed the plot model of the widow , each with a similar figure constellation but different costumes. "The operetta [...] actually outlived itself because it has always had the same books since the Merry Widow ", wrote Karl Farkas.
Way into the 20th century
After the First World War , a decidedly new era began for the art form, also in the more tradition-conscious Vienna; the resulting pieces are often called silver operettas (as opposed to the so-called golden operettas of the 19th century), although this terminology is ideologically problematic. The operetta was increasingly displaced by the revue , cabaret and the cinema or entered creative hybrid forms with these genres. However, even in the 1920s and until after the Second World War , gigantic worldwide operetta successes were achieved. More modern forms of dance and light music, along with traditional waltz, polka or march motifs, such as shimmy and foxtrot, gained a lot of influence . Schlager no longer necessarily began their triumphal march on stage, but could start from the newer media gramophone , radio and later sound film and from there have an effect on the stage. Since the 1930s there have been original film operettas (for example The Three from the Gas Station ) in which the transition to film musical (as we know it from Hollywood) is fluid.
Compositions after the First World War often avoided the term operetta and the corresponding works appeared on the program as a Singspiel , “musical comedy” or “musical comedy” (for example, Der Vetter aus Dingsda , Im Weißen Rößl ). In the 1920s, the operetta increasingly moved to the side of the Broadway or West End musical, which often served as a model for Viennese and Berlin operetta composers and whose typical characteristics were incorporated into German-language operettas (for example in Emmerich Kálmán's Charleston operetta The Duchess of Chicago , 1928).
Franz Lehár, on the other hand, approached the genre of opera more and more in his later operettas, especially in Giuditta , his last work, which was premiered in 1934 at the Vienna State Opera with Jarmila Novotná and Richard Tauber under Lehár's direction. Lehár was a great admirer of Puccini - the appreciation was mutual - who wanted to write an operetta for the Vienna Carltheater . As a result of the First World War, however, it was not premiered in Vienna, the work La rondine intended for Vienna was premiered in Italian at the Monte Carlo Opera .
Some later musicals were modern developments of the operetta, for example My Fair Lady , and were therefore particularly suitable for inclusion in the repertoire of German-speaking city theaters. The German version of My Fair Lady was created by Robert Gilbert , who had previously become well known for his lyrics to the White Horse Inn . Composer Frederick Loewe, in turn, was the son of an Austrian operetta buffalo and grew up with the tradition of the grotesquely sentimental Viennese and Berlin operettas, which you can hear in all of his works (especially in the sweet love songs).
The German-language works created after around 1920 often dispensed with the old waltz, polka and march sounds, the composers instead oriented themselves towards the new entertainment sounds from the USA ( shimmy , foxtrot , Charleston ). Radically modern, transatlantic pieces such as Emmerich Kálmán's Die Bajadere (with “Fräulein, please want to dance Shimmy”) or Bruno Granichstaedten's Der Orlow and Reclame were created for Viennese theaters . Conservative Viennese operetta fans reacted in horror to the new sounds. As a counter-reaction, Erich Wolfgang Korngold began a renaissance of the Strauss operetta, which in his adaptations (especially One Night in Venice , 1923) was put up for discussion and especially celebrated by the conservative Viennese press (e.g. Neue Freie Presse ).
These waltz-like pieces (e.g. Korngold's Strauss-Pasticcio Walzer from Vienna , 1930) could not replace the preference of the majority of the audience for modern sounds. For example, Ralph Benatzky achieved a groundbreaking success in 1936 with the jazzy Hollywood operetta Axel an der Himmelstür in the Theater an der Wien (with Max Hansen and Zarah Leander in the leading roles). Even Paul Abraham wrote after 1933 his new pieces for Vienna, for example. B. the frivolous soccer operetta Roxy and her wonder team , 1937 full of blackwalks and foxtrotts, filmed in 1938 with Rosy Barsony and Oscar Denes.
After the annexation of Austria in 1938, the jazz works, which had now been stamped as “degenerate”, disappeared from the repertoire of Viennese theaters; they have been replaced by so-called classics of the 19th century and compositions that imitate them.
As a novelty genre, the Viennese operetta retained unbroken continuity in the second half of the century beyond the last works by Robert Stolz ( spring parade ), Ludwig Schmidseder ( farewell waltz ) and Gerhard Winkler . The Viennese operetta was promoted on television by singers such as Rudolf Schock and Anneliese Rothenberger . Until the 1970s, operettas by the Linz composer Igo Hofstetter , such as Roulette der Herzen , Alles speaks of Charpillon and Schach dem Boss , were written, which were translated into several foreign languages and were on the repertoire in various theaters for several years.
The Paris and Vienna operetta titles were also successful in Berlin, and local composers such as Paul Lincke, Jean Gilbert and Walter Kollo soon set about introducing a typical Berlin tone in the operetta. Examples of the early “Berlin Operetta” are Paul Lincke's wife Luna and Im Reiche des Indra (both 1899), Walter Kollos Drei alten Schachteln (1917) and Jean Gilbert's Die chaste Susanne (1910) or Die Kinokönigin (1913). A characteristic of the “Berlin Style” is the preference for jagged marching music (the most famous example is Lincke's “ This is Berlin air, air, air ”).
As early as the 19th century, Berlin theaters such as the Woltersdorff Theater were used for tryout performances by the Viennese operetta . After the end of the First World War, Berlin increasingly developed into the center of German-language operetta, and many Viennese composers gave world premieres of their works to the German capital (the most famous example: Lehár's Das Land des Smiles , premiered in 1929 with Richard Tauber in the Metropol-Theater ) or settled there completely to the Spree (Ralph Benatzky, Oscar Straus etc.). At the beginning of the twenties, a radically new tone for operettas established itself in Berlin, strongly based on the syncopated dances from the USA. More than in Vienna, the transatlantic sound became a trademark of Berlin operettas. Here classics emerged as Eduard Künneke Der Vetter aus Dingsda (1920) with the "Batavia Foxtrot" Erik Charell on Broadway oriented Revue operetta Casanova (1928), Three Musketeers (1929) and The White Horse Inn (1930), for which Ralph Benatzky musically responsible was, as well as the crowning highlight of Paul Abraham's whirlwind hits Viktoria und ihr Husar (1930), The Flower of Hawaii (1931) and Ball in the Savoy (1932). The flower of Hawaii was the most successful stage work of the Weimar era.
With the emergence of the sound film at the end of the 1920s, the "sound film operetta" created for the new medium developed as an independent genre, especially at the Berlin film company UFA , whose main representative Werner Richard Heymann can be considered, with film classics such as Die Drei von der Gasstelle ( 1930) or The Congress Dances (1931, directed by Erik Charell).
In addition to the opulent productions for stage and film, the genre of the satirical, intimate cabaret operetta, represented by pieces such as Mischa Spoliansky's How will I get rich and happy? (1930).
After 1933, the international jazz style of German-language operetta (in Berlin and Vienna), geared towards the USA, was replaced by a - with few exceptions - staid sound, created by “Aryan” composers such as Nico Dostal , Fred Raymond , Ludwig Schmidseder and Friedrich Schröder , who created, among other things, remakes or even plagiarism of the now banned “Jewish” works ( season in Salzburg for Im Weisse Rössl , The Hungarian Wedding for Countess Mariza , etc.). Ludwig Schmidseder's operettas are an exception, in which “degenerate tendencies”, such as jazzy rhythms, can be clearly heard in his music. The emphatically apolitical stance of the operetta retained its works for decades after the Second World War, as with Mask in Blue (1937, as a replacement for Ábrahám's Ball in Savoy ) or Wedding Night in Paradise (1942).
Furthermore, the Viennese works by Suppè, Strauss, Millöcker and Zeller were brought back to the stage by the National Socialists as examples of “Aryan” and not “ degenerate ” operettas (mostly without naming the Jewish lyricists). The evaluative division into golden and silver operettas goes back to the cultural policy of the Nazis.
After the Second World War, composers such as Gerd Natschinski , Conny Odd , Herbert Kawan , Eberhard Schmidt , Gerhard Kneifel and Guido Masanetz created new operettas in the GDR (see Heiteres Musiktheater (GDR)).
In England, the sonically lush Savoy operas by Gilbert and Sullivan have become popular, and in Spain the musically slimmer Zarzuela experienced a heyday after the turn of the 20th century, for example by Enrique Granados or Amadeo Vives .
Since the 1910s, it has been possible to establish its own operetta tradition on the New York Broadway stage, for example that of Victor Herbert ( Babes in Toyland , 1903, Mlle Modiste , 1905, The Red Mill , 1906, Naughty Marietta , 1910, Sweethearts , 1913 , Eileen , 1917, Orange Blossoms , 1922), Sigmund Romberg ( The Student Prince , 1924) and Rudolf Friml ( The Vagabond King , 1925) and was very successful in Europe, especially Great Britain. Even if these US operettas often followed European, especially Viennese, models, they often dealt with subjects that were not about noble people and told American stories (such as the colonial operetta Naughty Marietta or the Friml operetta Rose-Marie, which is set in Canada ).
Even if US composers often wrote songs in waltz time, three-four time was not the distinguishing feature of the operetta in America as it was in Vienna. Instead, march numbers (such as "Stouthearted Men") and vaudeville numbers in particular became popular and became the forerunners and models for later musicals by Jerome Kern and George Gershwin . Their works (such as Show Boat , 1927) were partly created parallel to the Broadway operettas and are closely related to them in terms of content and music. Also the musical plays based on the text books by Oscar Hammerstein II like Oklahoma! (1943) or The Sound of Music (1959) are sometimes counted as operettas.
The director and producer Erik Charell celebrated another success in Munich in 1950 with a revue version of the Swiss operetta Fireworks by Paul Burkhard . After that the premieres on a large scale became rarer.
Recently, operetta premieres or an approach of the musical to the operetta can be observed again. These include The Beastly Bombing: A Terrible Tale of Terrorists Tamed by the Tangles of True Love (Los Angeles 2006) by Julian Nitzberg (libretto) and Roger Neill (music), in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan's grotesque political satires.
After the takeover of the Nazi Party in 1933, the genre operetta underwent a radical redefinition. Almost all of the USA-oriented jazz and revue operettas of the 1920s were removed from the schedule because of the supposedly scandalous influence of so-called “ nigger music ”, but above all because of the predominantly Jewish authors. Because of his Jewish faith, Jacques Offenbach's oeuvre was banned completely from German-speaking theaters.
Since jazz music and thus also jazz operettas were undesirable because they were viewed as “typically Jewish”, and since frivolity and socio-political topicality were just as unwelcome, after 1933 a replacement had to be found for the many successful pieces of the Weimar Republic. Kevin Clarke describes three levels in the exhibition catalog The Suspicious Saxophone: 'Degenerate Music' in the Nazi State , on which the National Socialists took up developments from the “decay” before 1933, but filled them with new content. When one speaks of "operetta" in National Socialism, then, according to Clarke, the following variants:
- Revue operettas and revue operetta films, such as the still popular Ufa films with Johannes Heesters and Marika Rökk and others ( Gasparone , Fledermaus , etc.).
- Operettas 'refined' to the opera, such as the series of complete Lehár recordings with the Vienna Philharmonic and established opera stars, but also the corresponding Strauss, Millöcker, Ziehrer, and Suppè recordings as well as newly created operettas such as Künneke's Die große Sünderin.
- Old-fashioned Singspiele such as Ännchen von Tharau , the court ball in Schönbrunn or love in Lerchengasse (and corresponding films).
Because the titles of the 1920s and the entertainment theater culture of the Weimar Republic in general were viewed as “degenerate” and “decomposition”, and because even in Lehár's operettas Land des Smiles and Giuditta the textbooks by Jewish authors such as Fritz Löhner-Beda (“ Bananas, of all places ”), the Reichsdramaturgie recommended playing the 'classic' waltz operettas of the 19th century. Because: "The Viennese Singspiel and with it the Viennese operetta grew out of our native folk tradition, its essence can only be grasped from this and remains permanently connected to our folklore", it says in 1942 in the words of the Viennese music professor Alfred Orel Essay "The operetta - a valuable cultural asset of our homeland".
Even before that, it was officially said that the Viennese operetta was considered a role model and classic, for example in Reclam's Operettenführer in 1939 , where publisher Walter Mnilk also said with reference to Offenbach: “[The operetta] experienced its first heyday in France and in quick succession already their expiry period. Vienna then became their classic place. "
In his article The Operetta is Dead! Hans Herbert Pudor had made it clear in 1937: “ The operetta, which dangling insubstantially by the thread of a revue plot, was only a means to the end of a grandiose setting, coupled with the display of more or less piquant female charms, is dead . Died and finally sunk into Hades, that kind of 'operettas' […] with more than flat silliness, more than ambiguous humor and sultry eroticism, in a beautiful association with sweet and kitschy love songs ”.
Through this emphasis on classical and entkitschten operetta from Vienna of the 19th century suddenly experienced long-forgotten works such as Prince Methuselah , lace shawl the Queen , Arabian Nights , The Obersteiger , The Marriage Nest , The Vagabond , The guide , the winemaker , Poor Jonathan , The boarding school etc. Revivals. They were recorded with the best opera singers and orchestras available at the time, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, as modern "play operas", as Hans Severus Ziegler explains in his preface to Reclam's Operetta Guide 1939:
“The tasteful and musically cultivated operetta of old and new times is nothing else than the modern Singspiel and a sister of the Schwank, whose justification has not yet been questioned by any side. It goes without saying that the Third Reich had to gradually switch off the typically Jewish and heavily jazzed-up operetta, with the very positive result that the operetta theaters of all large and small cities where the Aryan operetta composer is cultivated still show full houses. Certainly it would be desirable that to supplement our current operetta treasure, we should once again have comical operas with the ease and real humor of Lortzing's 'Wildschütz', which is in the interest of a taste-building education of the audience, whose sense of style and entertainment must not be further flattened . "
This taste-enhancing 'raising the level' of the operetta in the direction of Singspiel was also important because private theaters soon disappeared completely under National Socialism and operettas were played accordingly on state theaters, with ensemble singers whose talents were in different areas than the highly specialized operetta stars of the 1920s .
Converted into a "Singspiel", the works of Strauss and his contemporaries, but also a number of Lehár operettas, from then on (until today) dominated the repertoire, sometimes omitting the name of the lyricist.
In films such as Willi Forst's Operetta (1940) and Wiener Mädeln (1944/1949), this ideology is omnipresent in relation to Johann Strauss and Carl Michael Ziehrer and was spread through the cinema. In part, this ideology has been left uncommented to this day when the forest films are broadcast on television.
Even the few “Aryan” composers who had made a career in jazz before 1933, such as Eduard Künneke, from then on wrote operatic works for opera singers, such as The Great Sinner , which came out in 1935 at the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden, with the Wagner diva Tiana Lemnitz and the Verdi tenor Helge Roswaenge in the leading roles. This approach of 'refining' and 'making operettas' and destroying private theaters not only destroyed a flourishing entertainment industry in Germany that was comparable to what is known today from Broadway or London's West End. The commercial art form operetta was thus destroyed and made a state act, performed by chamber singers and accompanied by state orchestras.
Processing in the post-war period
The topic was dealt with comprehensively for the first time in the conference Operetta under the Swastika , organized by the Dresden State Operetta under director Wolfgang Schaller , which the musicologist Kevin Clarke conceived and carried out in 2005 together with the dramaturge Carin Marquardt. The contributions were published in 2007 under the title Operetta under the swastika: Between acceptable art and 'degeneration '. Subsequently, several extensive studies were published, such as Boris von Hakens The “Reichsdramaturg”: Rainer Schlösser and the music theater politics in the Nazi era and the overview presentation of operetta in the “Third Reich”: Musical entertainment theater between 1933 and 1945 by Matthias Kauffmann.
Kauffmann was one of the first to point out the sometimes schizophrenic situation for the operetta in the Nazi state, which on the one hand scourged the sexually permissive performance practice of the years before 1933 and sought to replace it with classic music, and on the other hand erotically permissive productions such as The Merry Widow 1940 in Berlin Admiralspalast with Johannes Heesters (director: Georg Jacoby ) with the male nude dancer Alberto Spadolini admitted, to the applause of Goebbels and Hitler. On Wedding Night in Paradise in 1942, critics praised “two men with an Adamic impression” who “with a bare upper body” pushed onto the stage of the Metropltheater Berlin as boxers: “What for? Why? Heinz Hentschke is beaming at these extraordinary muscular people, who he incorporated into an ensemble that should really care more about the larynx than the biceps. "
In other productions of the Gärtnerplatztheater Munich or Metropoltheater Berlin one could marvel at nude dancers who were touted as "highly erotic and neat" by the Metropoltheater director Heinz Hentschke in connection with his production of Frauen im Metropol (1941).
After 1945 it was no longer appropriate to speak of “Aryan” and “degenerate” operettas. Franz Hadamowsky and Heinz Otte therefore introduced the terms “golden” and “silver” operettas in 1947 with their book Die Wiener Operetta: The history of theater and impact . That was a terminology that was neither used by the National Socialists nor by Karl Westermeyer in 1931 in his book The Operetta in the Change of the Zeitgeist: from Offenbach to the Present . Instead, Westermeyer differentiates between Offenbach's “classical operetta” and the “romantic operetta” (“The operetta under the rule of the Viennese waltz”) with reference to both Johann Strauss and Leo Fall and Franz Lehár, and later speaks of the “younger Viennese und Berliner Operette ”as well as, with a view to the 1920s, of“ Jazz Operetta ”and later of the“ Tonfilm Operetta ”as different further developments.
Despite the hidden anti-Semitic revaluation or devaluation, the pair of terms golden and silver (Viennese) operetta has firmly established itself in literature and in linguistic usage and will also be published in 2020 by the editors Derek B. Scott and Anastasia Belina in The Cambridge Companion to Operetta (Cambridge University Press) used without comment.
Operetta in Germany after 1949
After the Second World War , the operetta developed differently in East and West Germany. In the FRG, attempts to continue the genre with newly composed pieces failed. This affected both the works of composers who were successful in Nazi Germany ( Friedrich Schröder , Rudolf Kattnigg , Nico Dostal , Peter Kreuder , Fred Raymond , August Pepöck ) as well as also works by remigrants such as Emmerich Kálmán ( Arizona Lady , premiered by Bayerischer Rundfunk in 1954), Oscar Straus , Werner Richard Heymann , Friedrich Hollaender or Ralph Benatzky. Only Erik Charell achieved a resounding success in 1950 with Feuerwerk (music: Paul Burkhard ), which was able to establish itself in the repertoire and was successfully filmed in 1954 with Lilli Palmer , Karl Schönböck and Romy Schneider .
The maintenance of operettas in the FRG increasingly concentrated on the so-called classics, including those that had been removed from the repertoire as "degenerate" during the Nazi era because of the authors of Jewish origin. Over the years, this led to an ever increasing narrowing of the repertoire to a few individual titles such as Die Fledermaus , The Merry Widow , Csardasfürstin , Land of Smiles , Wiener Blut or The White Horse Inn . These were no longer played in the context of a commercial theater business, but since 1933 in state-subsidized theaters, a system that was continued in the FRG. “For entertaining music theater, however, the nationalized theater landscape turned out to be a disaster, otherwise the consequences can hardly be formulated,” said Wolfgang Jansen on the situation after 1945.
The choice of the play title had to be justified in the context of the "eternal values" of German culture and the justification of cultural subsidies in the FRG. A "refinement strategy" was used to try to upgrade operettas in the direction of opera and singspiel. In the 1990s it was still a matter of “fundamentally rehabilitating the operetta genre”, writes Stefan Frey in his Franz Lehár biography from 2020, but in retrospect states: “The common antinomies of kitsch and art, golden and silver era or Good and bad operettas, such as those practiced by Volker Klotz in his pioneering encyclopedia at the time, have overtaken each other and [...] fall short. "
As a result of the compulsory rehabilitation, the operetta occupied a special position in the West German theater business: “In the so-called 'province' [takes] the light muse [occupies] a very peculiar position. She is the favorite child of the cash desk there - because the performances are sold out every day - and the stepchild of the directors, who see them as a necessary evil with whose help they finance their excursions into high culture, ”remarked Marcel Prawy .
Shortly before the turn of the millennium, the columnist Martina Helmig stated in an article in the Berliner Morgenpost : “The operetta genre is essentially reserved for touring productions and smaller city theaters that tend to take care of the aging diva carelessly. [...] Operetta is seldom declared a top priority. Senior director and conductor make use of the common clichés of counts sipping bubbly in plush boudoirs. Merry widows and cousins from Dingsda are just good enough to supplement the city theaters' box office . [...] Therefore one has to ask the [question]: Who can and wants to save the operetta? "
German Democratic Republic
In the GDR, a different approach was taken, that of a “real operetta reform”, which endeavored to “make the genre present” and “drive out its reactionary potential”. In the GDR, the genres operetta and musical as well as all other works of musical entertainment theater were summarized under the generic term cheerful music theater and they were upgraded to "an opera and drama that is on par with socialist theater culture". This socialist theater scene was also a fully state-subsidized one, in continuation of the political control of the schedules introduced by the Nazis in 1933 through financial control.
In the GDR until 1989 it was necessary to create new works that were based on the criteria, positions and theses of socialist realism in terms of subject, music, content and effect , "with criticism of small-town bourgeoisie or capitalist corruption and an optimistic attitude for societal change processes should have an educational effect " . The newly created pieces were supposed to bring the “better” reality of life under socialism to the stage and sing about it.
The new operettas created in the GDR were completely ignored in the western part of the republic. After 1989, they largely disappeared from the pan-German repertoire. Operetta researcher Kevin Clarke calls for a critical examination of the works. This also includes open research into the relationship between GDR operetta makers and the political elite, for example by composing hymns and cantatas for party congresses of the SED or accepting state awards such as the culture prize. The works of the GDR operetta have so far been ignored by West German music theater research and international operetta historians.
The specialization that was once required of operetta performers is rare. Some opera singers lack the ability to speak pointed dialogues. Singing subjects such as the soubrette , playing tenor or bass are more of an exception among professional singers. Today, the operetta repertoire played all over the country in German-speaking countries (now on state-subsidized theaters, no longer in specialized private theaters) is essentially reduced to a little more than half a dozen “classical” works, in Austria it is a little more. American operettas are only cultivated on a few theaters such as the Ohio Light Opera. Only in France - especially Offenbach's oeuvre - is it regularly performed on larger stages, sometimes with very prominent (opera) casts.
Specialized theaters and festivals
Theaters that were formerly mainly dedicated to operetta, such as the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich or the Volksoper Vienna, have now turned more to opera, although operettas continue to be an important part of the repertoire at these theaters . In addition to Dresden with the Dresden State Operetta, there has recently also been a theater specializing in operettas in Hamburg , the Engelsaal. They are the only independent theaters of this type in Germany. The Musical Comedy in Leipzig as part of the Leipzig Opera with its own ensemble is also mainly dedicated to the operetta. In Baden bei Wien there are regular operettas, often titles beyond the standard repertoire, in conventional productions that have enjoyed a good reputation, especially since Robert Herzl was the artistic director . Especially in Eastern European countries there are many pure operetta theaters that maintain the repertoire. E.g. the Operettenhaus in Budapest, which also goes on tour with its productions, for example in Germany.
There are still festivals specializing in operetta: some operetta festivals that are important in Austria because of their enormous media presence are the Seefestspiele Mörbisch (under the direction of Dagmar Schellenberger ), the Lehár Festival Bad Ischl and in Germany the Elblandfestspiele Wittenberge (founding director: Heiko Reissig ), which take place every year in the summer months.
Every spring from 2011 to 2015, the Dresden State Operetta organized the Johann Strauss Festival Dresden , the focus of which was on the house's Johann Strauss repertoire, which is unique in the world with its rarities. The program was supplemented with current highlights from the program in order to open up the arc from the beginnings of the genre to the present day and to show various forms of presentation. Due to the move to the new venue, it has been suspended for 2016 and 2017.
The Festival in the Schlossgarten (formerly Schlossgartenfestspiele Neustrelitz) in Neustrelitz is considered to be the largest operetta festival in Germany and attracts around 14,000 spectators every year.
The Ohio Light Opera Festival in the United States also offers six operettas each summer, half of which are excavations of forgotten works. The festivals in Mörbisch and Ohio in particular gained national attention through television broadcasts and CD and DVD publications.
There are also numerous amateur stages dedicated to operettas. In Switzerland, for example, there is a music theater association as a merger of three theater companies.
- List of operettas
- List of operetta composers
- List of German-language operetta films
- Further operetta composers
- Operetta researcher
- Marie-Theres Arnbom , Kevin Clarke , Thomas Trabitsch (eds.), Welt der Operetta. Glamor, Stars and Show Business , Vienna: Brandstätter 2011, ISBN 978-3-85033-581-2 .
- Anastasia Belina and Derek B. Scott (Eds.): The Cambridge Companion to Operetta . Cambridge Companions to Music series. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2020, ISBN 978-1-316-63334-2 .
- Helmut Bez , Jürgen Degenhardt , HP Hofmann: Musical. History and Works, Berlin 1981: VEB Lied der Zeit music publisher.
- Kevin Clarke (Ed.): Glitter and be Gay. The authentic operetta and its gay admirers , Hamburg: Männerschwarm Vlg. 2007, ISBN 978-3-939542-13-1 (including a chapter on The Beastly Bombing ) - contributions by Adam Benzwi , Kathrin Brigl, Frank Alva Buecheler , Christoph Dompke , Albrecht Dümling , Robert Eberl, Kurt Gänzl, Thorsten Klein, Hans-Jörg Koch, Joan Lawrence, Arthur Maibach, Christophe Mirambeau, Richard C. Norton, Jörn Jacob Rohwer, Hans-Dieter Roser , Brigitte Tautscher, Klaus Thiel.
- Kevin Clarke: "The jazz band is already playing in heaven" Emmerich Kálmán and the transatlantic operetta 1928–1932 . From Bockel Verlag, Hamburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-932696-70-1 .
- Kevin Clarke: Aspects of performance practice or: How does a historically informed performance of the operetta sound? , in: Frankfurter Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft (online at www.fzmw.de), JFZMw Jg. 9 (2006) pp. 21–75.
- Kevin Clarke: Dangerous Poison: The 'authentic' operetta - and what became of it after 1933 , in: Albrecht Dümling (ed.), The suspicious saxophone: "Degenerate Music" in the Nazi state , exhibition catalog Berlin 2007, p. 53– 69.
- Kevin Clarke: Deliberately forgotten? (Operetta in the GDR / GDR operetta), in: Neues Deutschland , issue 16./17. March 2013, extended version in the archive of the Operetta Research Center Amsterdam ( online )
- Stan Czech : Das Operettenbuch: a guide through the operettas and Singspiele of the German theaters , Stuttgart, Muth 1960.
- Roland Dippel: Cheerful music theater - operetta in the German Democratic Republic (1949–1989). In: The world of operetta. Frivolous, erotic and modern. Editors: Marie-Theres Arnbom, Kevin Clarke, Thomas Trabitsch, pp. 213 to 239, ISBN 978-3-85033-581-2 .
- Roland Dippel: What was left of that time. Gerd Natschinski and Guido Masanetz were not the only ones (series “Operetta and Musical of the GDR”, episode 1) in: Leipziger Volkszeitung , Jan. 29, 2016, No. 24, p. 9. ( Online )
- Rolf Fath , Anton Würz : Reclam's opera and operetta guide , Stuttgart: Reclam 2002, ISBN 3-15-010513-7 .
- Stefan Frey : Franz Lehár or the bad conscience of light music . Theatron, Vol. 12. Tübingen 1995.
- Stefan Frey: "What do you think of this success?" Franz Lehár and popular music in the 20th century . Frankfurt a. M. u. Leipzig 1999.
- Stefan Frey: "Laughing through tears". Emmerich Kálmán . An operetta biography . Berlin 2003.
- Stefan Frey (collaboration: Christine Stemprok, Wolfgang Dosch ): Leo Fall . Mocking rebel of the operetta . Vienna: Edition Steinbauer 2010.
- Kurt Gänzl : The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theater , 2nd edition, New York: Schirmer / Gale 2001, ISBN 978-0-02-864970-2 .
- Kurt Gänzl: Musicals: The Complete Illustrated Story of the World's Most Popular Live Entertainment , London: Carlton Books 2004, ISBN 978-1-84442-666-9 (covers the history of operetta and the transition from operetta to musical in detail)
- Albert Gier: "If it were nothing but a moment" - poetics and dramaturgy of the comic operetta , Bamberg: University of Bamberg Press 2014, ISBN 978-3-86309-258-0 .
- Bernard Grun: Kulturgeschichte der Operetta (licensed edition for the GDR: "For the present edition, the work has been extended by the VEB Lied der Zeit with authorization from Bernard Grun by Chapter XXIII."), Berlin 1967: VEB Lied der Zeit (first edition Munich 1961: Albert Langen, Georg Müller Verlags GmbH)
- Robert Herzl : Operetta today - possibilities of a scenic realization . In: Paul Walter Fürst (Ed.): On the situation of musicians in Austria , Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-900914-00-1 .
- Wolfgang Jansen: "In search of the future, on the situation of the operetta in the late twenties." In: Nils Grosch (Hrsg.): Aspects of modern music theater in the Weimar Republic. Münster etc .: Waxmann 2004, ISBN 3-8309-1427-X .
- Volker Klotz : Operetta - portrait and manual of an unheard-of art , Kassel: Bärenreiter 2004, ISBN 3-7618-1596-4 .
- Pem : And the sky is full of violins. The glamor and magic of the operetta . Berlin: Blanvalet 1955.
- Rainer Rother and Peter Mänz: "When I go to my cinema on Sundays". Sound - Film - Operetta , Berlin: Vice Versa 2007 (exhibition catalog of the German Film Museum for the sound film operetta), ISBN 978-3-939825-74-6 .
- Otto Schneidereit : Operettas A – Z - A foray through the world of operettas and musicals Berlin: Henschel 1971 and 1986.
- Otto Schneidereit : Operetta Book - The World of Operetta. The world's operettas ; Berlin: Henschelverlag 1955 and 1964.
- Otto Schneidereit : operetta chats ; Berlin: Henschelverlag 1966.
- Thorsten Stegemann : If you look at life through a champagne glass ...: Textbooks of the Viennese operetta between provocation and reaction , Frankfurt a. M .: Peter Lang 1995, ISBN 978-3-631-48581-1 .
- Richard Traubner: Operetta. A Theatrical History, NY: Doubleday 1983, 2003. ISBN 0-385-13232-8 .
- Clemens Wolthens: Opera and Operetta , Vienna: Tosa 1970.
- Operetta Research Center Amsterdam - press archive (modern / historical), news, biographies
- Operettas - detailed with lots of photos and free of advertising
- Operetta lexicon
- Cf. Marion Linhardt , "Offenbach and the French operetta in the mirror of the contemporary Viennese press", in: Rainer Franke (Hrsg.), Offenbach und die Schauplätze seine Musiktheater , Thurnau 1999, p. 81 ff.
- Kurt Gänzl: Musicals: The Complete Illustrated Story of the World's Most Popular Live Entertainment. London 2004, p. 13.
- Meyers Encyclopedia , Leipzig 1877, Vol. 12, pp 278th
- Revue et Gazette musicale 29: 1856, pp. 229-234.
- See files of the police headquarters [Munich] of August 29, 1867; State Archives, No. 3794.
- Marion Linhardt in her Topography of the Vienna Entertainment Theater, p. 81.
- Oscar Bie: The Operetta . In: Propylaea. Literary-fiction weekly (supplement to the Münchner Zeitung) . March 6, 1914, p. 316 ff . Quoted from: Marion Linhardt (Ed.): Voices for entertainment: operetta and revue in the journalistic debate (1906-1933) . Verlag Lehner, Vienna 2009, pp. 104-107.
- Cf. “The jazz band is already playing in heaven” , Hamburg 2007.
- Karl Westermeyer speaks in his book Die Operetta im Wandel des Zeitgeist: from Offenbach to the Present (1931) more appropriately of the "Classical Operetta" à la Offenbach as well as Gilbert and Sullivan ("a time-critical, witty mirror of humor"), of the "Romantic Operetta “À la Suppè and Strauss (“ The operetta under the domination of the Viennese waltz ”), from the“ Second Viennese School ”(Lehár, Leo Fall, Oscar Straus and Emmerich Kálmán), the“ Berlin Operetta ”(including Paul Lincke) and the "modern" or "jazz operetta" (including Paul Abraham, Ralph Benatzky Kurt Weill). - Karl Westermeyer: The operetta in the course of the zeitgeist: from Offenbach to the present , Munich: Drei Masken Vlg., 1931.
- Cf. “The waltz awakens - the negroes escape: Korngold's operetta adaptations” in: Arne Stollberg (Ed.): Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Wunderkind der Moderne or the last romantic? , Munich 2008.
- Cf. Boris von Haken, Der "Reichsdramaturg" Rainer Schlösser and the music theater policy in the Nazi era , Hamburg 2007, p. 93.
- Heinz-Walter Schmitz in Franz-Reiner Erkens: Ostbairische Lebensbilder Volume IV. Passau 2013, p. 183 ff.
- Cf. on this the essay Hazardous Poison: The “authentic” operetta - and what became of it after 1933 in Albrecht Dümling (ed.): Das suspächtige Saxophon , Berlin 2006.
- Gerald Bordman, American Operetta , NY: Oxford Univ. Press 1981.
- Kevin Clarke: Dangerous Poison: The 'authentic operetta - and what became of it after 1933 . In: Albrecht Dümling (Ed.): The Suspicious Saxophone: 'Degenerate Music' in the Nazi State . Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation / Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Berlin and Düsseldorf 2007, p. 53 ff .
- Alfred Orel: The operetta - a valuable cultural asset of our homeland . In: Franz Kreuz (Hrsg.): Meister des Frohsinns: The operetta in Niederdonau . Kühne Verlag, Vienna 1942, p. 17-21 . Quoted from: Matthias Kauffmann: Operetta in the 'Third Reich': Musical entertainment theater between 1933 and 1945 . By Bockel Verlag, Neumünster 2017, p. 143
- Walter Mnilk (Ed.): Reclam's Operetta Guide . Reclam Verlag, Leipzig 1939, p. 5 ff .
- Hans Herbert Pudor: The operetta is dead! Long live the operetta! In: Silesian monthly books . No. 12 , 1937, pp. 472 ff . Quoted from: Matthias Kauffmann: Operetta in the 'Third Reich', p. 115.
- Hans Severus Ziegler: For escort! In: Walter Mnilk (Ed.): Reclams Operettenführer . Reclam Verlag, Leipzig 1939, p. 3-4 .
- Wolfgang Schaller (ed.): Operetta under the swastika: Between acceptable art and "degeneration" . Metropol-Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-938690-35-2 .
- Boris von Haken: The "Reichsdramaturg" Rainer Schlösser and the music theater policy in the Nazi era . von Bockel Verlag, Hamburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-932696-64-0 .
- Matthias Kauffmann: Operetta in the 'Third Reich': Musical entertainment theater between 1933 and 1945 . von Bockel Verlag, Neumünster 2017, ISBN 978-3-95675-006-9 .
- Matthias Kauffmann: Operetta in the 'Third Reich' . S. 321 ff .
- Cornelia Herstatt: The cavalier enjoys and is silent . Undated newspaper article, quoted from: Matthias Kauffmann: Operetta in the 'Third Reich', p. 324
- Heinz Hentschke: Women in the Metropol . Quoted from: Matthias Kauffmann: Operetta in the 'Third Reich', p. 321
- Franz Hadamowsky, Heinz Otte: The Vienna Operetta . Bellaria Verlag, Vienna 1947.
- Karl Westermeyer: The operetta in the course of the zeitgeist: from Offenbach to the present . Drei Masken Verlag, Munich 1931.
- Anastasia Belina and Derek B. Scott (Eds.): The Cambridge Companion to Operetta . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2020, ISBN 978-1-316-63334-2 , pp. 1 .
- Wolfgang Jansen: No place - nowhere. The successful destruction of an infrastructure . In: Nils Grosch and Wolfgang Jansen (eds.): Between the chairs: Remigration and entertaining music theater in the 1950s . Waxmann Verlag, Münster 2012, ISBN 978-3-8309-2726-6 , pp. 53 .
- Stefan Frey: Franz Lehár: The last operetta king . Böhlau Verlag, Vienna, Cologne, Weimar 2020, ISBN 978-3-205-21005-4 , pp. 12 .
- Henry Grunwald, Georg Markus, Marcel Prawy, Hans Weigel: It must be a waltz ...: Alfred Grünwald and the Viennese operetta . Carl Ueberreuter, Vienna 1991, ISBN 978-3-8000-3373-7 , p. 154 .
- Martina Helmig: Champagne for aging widows . In: Berliner Morgenpost . February 10, 1999.
- Roland Dippel: Heiteres Musiktheater: Operetta in the German Democratic Republic (1949–1989) . In: Marie-Theres Arnbom, Kevin Clarke, Thomas Trabitsch (eds.): World of Operetta: Glamor, Stars and Show Business . Brandstätter Verlag / Austrian Theater Museum, Vienna 2011, ISBN 978-3-85033-581-2 , p. 229-230 .
- Dippel: Cheerful musical theater . S. 230 .
- Recording of a concert evening for the cheerful music theater in the Semperoper in 2020: Bettina Volksdorf: MDR KULTUR: Opernmagazin-Spezial: Heiteres Musiktheater. In: mdr.de. April 11, 2020, accessed April 16, 2020 .
- zabel: Largest Operetta Festival in Germany going into its fourth year. In: nmz.de - Neue Musikzeitung. June 19, 2004, accessed April 14, 2020 .
- dpa / mv: Operetta season started in Neustrelitz. In: welt.de. June 28, 2019, accessed April 14, 2020 .