Operetta "Circus Princess": content, video, interesting facts, history

I. Kalman Operetta "Circus Princess" (Mr. X)

"Princess Circus" is the pinnacle of creativity Kalman. The festivity and elegance of the operetta can not leave indifferent. The entanglement of the plot, intrigue, fabulous circus atmosphere, great music Imre Kalman, and, of course, true love, overcoming all difficulties. In Russia, the production was particularly successful, although it was corrected in accordance with Soviet censorship.

Summary of the Kalman Operetta "Circus princess"and many interesting facts about this work read on our page.




Original productionRussian production
Fedya PalinskyEtienne Verde tenorMr. X, circus artist
Fedor PalinskaTheodora VerdiersopranoPrincess, young widow
Stanislavsky RenardbassHead of the circus
Mable GibsonMari LyatushsopranoCircus rider
Tony schlüberger Tony bonnevilletenorStudent
Luigi Pinelli PoissotenorImpresario
Sergey VladimirovichBaron Gaston de 'CreveliansbaritonePrince, a relative of the emperor
Pelican PelicanHead waiter
Karla schlubergerCarla Bonneville contralto Hotel manager


Russia. St. Petersburg. The circus of Stanislavsky.

1912 Higher education Society of the Russian capital is discussing the emergence of a mysterious circus artist. Rumor has it that Stanislavsky himself did not see his own circus in the face of the main artist. Always be in a mask - the fate of Mr. X.

The appearance of the recently widowed Princess Fyodor in the circus foyer causes no less heated discussions in the society. The widow's state, inherited from her deceased husband, may be transferred to relatives if Palinska does not fulfill the conditions of the will and does not marry a compatriot within six weeks. Applicants not only for the beauty of the heart, but also for its capital can not be counted. Among them is the highly respected Prince Sergei Vladimirovich, who has family ties with the emperor of the Russian Empire. He shows signs of attention to the young widow, but she only laughs at him and rejects him, making a mockery of him.

Attention Fedora is riveted on the figure of Mr. X, suddenly appearing in the midst of public debate. The artist wants to kiss the hand of the beautiful princess, but she proudly declares that the jester cannot be worthy of such honor.

The curiosity of the public is growing, they are trying to remove the mask from the circus artist’s face, but Palinska is interfering in the quarrel, she forbids revealing the intrigue. All go to the gym.


Mr. X is left alone, he reflects on the hard share of the circus performer. Reflections are interrupted, it is time for him to speak, the public is rampaging in anticipation.

The foyer is empty only for a moment. Appears Tony, born in Austria. He is passionately in love with the supposedly English woman Mabel, the appearance of which makes the young boy tremble.

Dialogue in a joking manner puts all the points above and. In fact, Mabel is not an Englishwoman, but an Austrian named Lisa. They make an appointment. The actress is left alone.

The impressed Mr. X reveals Mabel's own secret. He is Fedor Palinsky. Fate played a cruel joke with him, he fell in love with his own uncle's bride. The prince could not forgive the betrayal of a relative, he promoted the dismissal of his nephew from the regiment of hussars. To get rid of poverty and ridicule, Fedor gets a circus artist. The mask becomes part of the image.

At this time, Prince Sergei again receives a refusal. He believes that only revenge will put in place and form Palinskaya. Instantly a cunning plan arises in his head. Sergei offers Mr. X to impersonate the prince, and come to the ball without a mask, because no one knows his face. X agrees because he wants to see the beautiful lady of the heart. He comes to the ball without a mask, the princess falls in love with him.

Prince's Palace. Ballroom

The term of the will comes. Love Fedora and Kirasov become stronger. Prince Sergei Vladimirovich continues to plot, he forges a letter from the emperor, in which the Almighty demands that Palinska immediately appear at the palace, where she will be chosen as the groom, so that her late husband’s capital will remain in Russia.

The princess decides to accelerate events and secure marriage in the church. They go to church. Prior to this, Sergey commits another deception, he says that he told everything Palinska. Crowned and Tony and Lisa. The wedding was a success.

Circus artists also come to the feast of love. As a gift they bring a portrait of Mr. X, they laugh, they call Princess Circus Princess. She is ready to endure ridicule, because she truly loves the artist. The prince reveals the truth to her husband. The princess is shocked.

Fedor tells his own story, they have long been familiar. The princess is trying to stop Fyodor, but he leaves the house with circus artists.

Vein. Hotel

Tony comes home with his bride. He cannot think up how to tell that he got married without warning his mother. Lisa comes down, she wants to tell the truth right now, at this moment Carla walks in. The truth floats to the surface. It turns out that Lisa is the daughter of a famous man in Vienna. Mother-in-law and mother-in-law make peace. The restaurant is ready to receive visitors.

Guests fill the hall, among them Princess Palinskaya and Prince Sergei, he supports her after a hard parting. He does not advise her not to go to reconciliation.

Fedor appears, he forgives his wife’s distrust. He wants to talk to her, but without the participation of the prince. Pelican helps the hero and takes Sergey out of the hall. Fedor goes to the princess. They make peace. He shows a letter that uncle wrote many years ago. They were both slandered. Now there is no reason to be sad, they are together again, which means that love has won all.

Duration of performance
I ActII - III Act
50 min85 min.

A photo:

Interesting Facts

  • Operetta has two names: the female "Circus Princess" and the male "Mr. X". The composer himself was inclined towards the female because of superstition. The fact is that the first operetta "The Good Comrade" and "The Little King" had a male name, but they failed, after which Kalman become seriously faithful accept.
  • Numerous rework of the opera in the USSR led to the fact that all the names of the heroes were replaced, the text was translated into the style of the 17th century, as a result of which the text and music did not converge. I had to rewrite the music, so there was the operetta "Kholopka" Nikolai Mikhailovich Strelnikov.
  • In the Russian production, the action from St. Petersburg was moved to Paris.
  • Circus director Stanislavsky is not an accident. Impressed by the book of Stanislavsky Imre Kalman decided to name the director of the circus on behalf of the famous playwright.
  • In consequence, the operetta was dedicated to the composer’s wife Vera, an emigrant from Russia.

  • Few familiar with the culture of Russia and the Russian way of life, librettists made many mistakes and curious situations, as a result of which the operetta on the Russian stage was never put in its original form, otherwise, instead of success, it would have been ridiculed.
  • Over the operetta Kalman had to work hard. He wrote "The Princess of the Circus" in 8 months. Imre paid daily to work on the work 16 hours a day.
  • In Russia, Mr. X's aria became famous in many respects due to the magnificent performance of the Soviet baritone Georg Ots. His singing and today is a reference.
  • A huge role in the implementation of the first production of the "Princess of the Circus" in Vienna was played by Princess Agnes Esterhazy, a relative of Prince Esterhazy, for whom Haydn was in the service for a long time.
  • The famous name of the restaurant "Green Parrot" in the third act was invented by Russian librettists.
  • At the moment there are 4 versions of the work, two of which are Soviet, and two German.

Popular arias and numbers from the circus princess operetta

Mr. X's Aria - Back to where the sea of ​​lights is (listen)

Duet Tony and Marie (listen)

Susanna's aria "Every day everybody keeps saying to me about love" (listen)

Song hussar (listen)

Theodore output aria (listen)

The story of the creation of "Circus Princess"

In the second half of the 20s, life Kalman radically changing - his beloved wife Paula Dvorak dies, with whom he has lived for more than 18 years. It was a tough time. Especially since after the resounding success of the operetta Maritsa, he could not decide for a long time what to write next. Inspiration came unexpectedly. Walking with librettists Grünewald and Brammer, we approached the circus building. The composer thought that he used to write a lot about the theater, but now it’s time for the circus. He offered his allies an idea, they gladly agreed to write a libretto for implementation.

The best remedy for depression and blues into which Kalman fell after the death of his wife was music. Work rushed up the hill. All free time the author, without fail composes. At least a day, he spent 16 hours a day writing. The piano score was ready 2 months after the beginning of the composition. Next, it was necessary to orchestrate. After six months of hard work orchestration, Kalman was able to breathe easy. The work is done.

In those years, Kalman already had popularity and authority in the musical society, so the production did not have long to wait.

Literary basis

In the 20s of the last century, Kalman became friends with librettists Alfred Grunwald and Julius Brammer. The union was truly fruitful, the performances one by one were a resounding success. "The Princess of the Circus" was no exception, written from the pen of two great librettists, the poems easily lay down to music. As a result, the operetta was written by the composer in less than a year.

Music and dramaturgy

As you know, it was thanks to Kalman that the operetta from the lower musical genre turned into a full-fledged theatrical performance. The reason for success is a clearly built dramatic composition, including the presence of leitmotifs assigned to the characters. For example, the theme of love from the second act in a duet "My idol is full of ecstasy, love," and returning in the third act.

The drama of the operetta "The Princess of the Circus" is built on a fairly standard musical-plot principle for Kalman. The main characters are two young and charming people who sincerely and truly love each other. Not only the intrigues of the enemies, but also class estate inequality also stand in the way of their joint happiness. Additionally, a happy comic couple is introduced, diluting the action with light and carefree numbers, and amusing the public.

A distinctive musical feature is the presence of great finals through the development of the action. Each final carries a certain dramatic function.

  1. The final of the 1st act. The plot of the conflict. Prince Sergei invites Mr. Ix to introduce himself as Prince Chyrasov, he agrees, a cunning plan is on the way.
  2. The final of the 2nd act. Dramatic climax. Deception is revealed, circus artists bring a portrait of Mr. X. The princess is terrified, Fedor reveals the true face. The princess forgives him and tries to return, but late. It seems that hopes for a happy future are doomed, but there is another act ahead.
  3. The final of the 3rd act. Happy End. Reconciliation happened, in love together forever.

An important function is played by a circus choir, it plays the role of destiny rock and the impossibility of connecting a circus artist and a princess.

The main characters in the operetta are not masked characters, they go a certain way of becoming. The musical characteristics of Fyodor Palinsky and Fyodor are similar. According to the laws of musical theater, the main characters have exposition weekend arias.

In the aria of Fyodor Palinsky, “My heart is always, as if in the chains of ice”, the heroine has a bright individual characteristic. She appears to be an unassailable beauty. In the second act, the aria of the heroine of “Night of the spring, a lot of fun” contradicts the first aria, reveals a new facet of the loving and happy Fedora.

The output aria of Mr. X "Noise Manege" presents him as a lyrical hero, filled with deep spiritual experiences and feelings. Aria has a three-part form with a varied reprise and a contrasting bravura center.

The duet of consent from the 1st act has a melody, painted with lyrical intonations. In the finale of the second act, a bright one will sound, and the memorable duet of the end-to-end development of the action has the bitter reminiscence of “I did not know you” is one of the tense moments in the climax.

The operetta began with a choral scene and ended with a choral scene with a soloing couple of Fyodor and Fedor “My idol”. Thus, the operetta has the completeness of the form and a strictly verified musical form.

It is worth noting that the boundless talent of the composer allowed to create an interesting operetta, distinguished by the brightness of musical lines. Despite the uniformity of structure used in such operettas as "Queen of chardas"or" Silva ","Maritsa".


The first production took place at the Vienna Theater on March 26, 1926. The best artists of that time performed parts in the operetta, the best decorations were delivered to the theater. The premiere was a huge success, the hall exulted. The joy and serenity of the work was relevant for Europe at the beginning of the 20th century.

As for Russia, at first they banned the operetta to be put on the Russian stage, as there were too many shortcomings and curious situations in it. In consequence, the anger was replaced by mercy, the music was so charming and beautiful that the production was allowed with censorship amendments. So the action was transferred to the capital of France, and the characters began to wear foreign names. The first production took place at the Moscow Operetta Theater in 1927. The hall was crowded, people gladly accepted the piece. Later, the famous Soviet film version was released in two series, which was called “Mr. X”, and became the classic of the national cinema.

Today, the operetta does not lose its own relevance, it continues to be put on the world's leading stages, including in Russia. "Circus princess"- is a masterpiece of world culture, which will delight the listener, regardless of the era.

Watch the video: Arias and duets in the operettas of Strauss, Lehar, Donizetti and Puccini (December 2019).


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