Lehár, Graf von Luxemburg
I had never actually ever been inside the Stadttheater in Baden (visible across the square from my father’s childhood bedroom). So I used that as an excuse to go out to Baden this afternoon and take in the evening performance of the Graf von Luxemburg by Ferenc Lehár by the team from Bühne Baden (when I have seen them before, it has only been in the Sommerarena in the Kurpark). It’s a provincial theater of no great importance (Max Reinhardt, born in Baden, had his first theatrical experiences here… albeit in an earlier theater building), but runs a full season to entertain those coming to the town for their cure.
The opera itself is simply a venue for some wonderful music Lehár threw together in about three weeks. The plot is a rather simple farce, with even less development than usual, which mostly serves as a venue for the tunes. In that respect, tonight’s performance did not disappoint. The perfectly acceptable cast (several of whom I have heard at the Volksoper) performed idiomatically, led by Mehrzad Montazeri in the title role. Oliver Ostermann kept beat, more or less, in the pit – but at least it was light and fun if not always lilting at the right time.