Dutch National Opera presents

Die lustige Witwe Franz Lehár (1870-1948)

Tickets on sale
17 Nov 12:00



Duration 2:00

By Franz Léhar

Language German

Surtitles Dutch and English

Die Lustige Witwe sketches an incisive picture of the hypocrisies of the beau monde. It proves that operetta is hardly shallow, but rather a rich and many-layered genre.


Operetta is a lighter form of opera that foreshadows the later genres of revue and musical. The plots are playful, with amorous intrigues. But with its lighthearted scenes, Die Lustige Witwe holds an astute mirror up to our dealings with one another.

    Mon 10 Feb NY Times over Thomas Oliemans als Papageno (Die Zauberflöte)

    "With his fine sense of physical comedy and communicative singing style, the baritone Thomas Oliemans was a fine Papageno and the well-deserved audience darling of the show."

    Mon 10 Feb NY Times over Annette Dasch in Die Meistersinger

    The soprano Annette Dasch's bright, focused voice suits Eva beautifully.


Die Lustige Witwe

Hanna Glawari, the ‘merry widow’ of the title, has inherited a vast sum from her late husband. Baron Zeta is determined that the fortune remain in Pontevedra, the impoverished province where they come from. He schemes to have Count Danilo marry the widow, thus keeping her wealth within the community. Hanna and Danilo, however, have a complicated history and push one another to the limits – and further – in the game of courtship.

Christof Loy


Christof Loy is a sought-after opera director. His extremely detailed productions have been performed at the major opera houses and festivals in Europe, including ROH Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Theater an der Wien, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich and the Salzburger Festspiele.


For the first time by Dutch National Opera
Dutch National Opera stages Die Lustige Witwe for the first time, with none other than director Christoph Loy, who has a great affinity for this genre. The Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans and the German soprano Annette Dasch, both theater personalities with comic flair, take the roles of Danilo and Hanna. Baron Zeta will be sung by Henk Poort, who makes his debut as a soloist with Dutch National Opera. The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra will be led by the Slovenian conductor Marko Letonja.



Die Lustige Witwe

Operetta in three acts

Sung in German with dialogues in several other languages


Leo Stein and Victor Léon


Original production of Grand Théâtre de Genève in a new adaptation for Dutch National Opera



Team, Cast and Chorus

Marko Letonja
Stage director
Christof Loy
Set designer
Christian Schmidt
Costume designer
Ursula Renzenbrink
Lighting design
Olaf Winter
Thomas Wilhelm
Klaus Bertisch
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus Master
Ching-Lien Wu
Baron Mirko Zeta
Henk Poort
Theresa Kronthaler
Graf Danilo Danilowitsch
Thomas Oliemans
Hanna Glawari
Annette Dasch
Camille de Rosillon
Norman Reinhardt
Vicomte Cascada
José Pazos
Sunnyi Melles



For more than 30 years, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | Netherlands Chamber Orchestra has been the primary orchestral partner of Dutch National Opera. It is counted among the best opera orchestras of the world. In September 2021, Lorenzo Viotti will become chief conductor of both the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Dutch National Opera. The Netherlands Chambers Orchestra is under the inspiring leadership of violinist Gordan Nikolić.

In addition to this opera activities, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra both are regular players of The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The orchestras work with internationally renowned guest conductors and soloists, as well as with a new generation of excellent musicians. The orchestras make classical music accessible to everyone who is open to it. On countless adventurous and unexpected podiums, they bring people together through music and provide an excellent musical experience for advanced and new audiences alike. With its welcoming and open home, the NedPhO-Dome in the ‘Indische Buurt’ in Amsterdam, the orchestras are situated in the heart of the community.

In the 2020-2021 season, The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra will join us for MefistofeleAidaDer fliegende HolländerDie lustige Witwe. The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra will join us in the pit for Le nozze di Figaro and Anna Bolena.


The Chorus of Dutch National Opera consists of 50 singers and is regularly supplemented by freelance chorus members for major productions. The Chorus of Dutch National Opera already has many milestones to its name, including Saint François d’Assise, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Ercole amante, Boris Godunov, La Juive, Les Troyens, Eugene Onegin, Parsifal, Guillaume Tell, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Faust, La forza del destino, Das Floß der Medusa, Oedipe and Tannhäuser, as well as concert performances of Der fliegende Holländer in Rotterdam, Paris and Dortmund and Daphnis et Chloé with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. Since 1 September, 2014 Ching-Lien Wu is artistic director of the Chorus of Dutch National Opera. Earlier in the 2019- 2020 season, the chorus gave stellar performances in Pagliacci / Cavalleria rusticana, Nabucco and Carmen. In 2016 the Chorus was awarded the title of ‘Best Opera Chorus’ by the authoritative magazine Opernwelt. In the 2020-2021 season the Chorus will sing in Mefi stofele, Le nozze di Figaro, Aida, Der fl iegende Holländer, Die lustigeWitwe, Anna Bolena and La damnation de Faust.





Experts share their thoughts on current productions Dutch National Opera & Ballet offers an introductory talk 45 minutes before each performance. An expert will share background information, context and interesting details that can give your theatre visit more depth. The talks are in Dutch and are free to all the ticket holders. You can also find an abridged version of the introduction on our website as a podcast.

Time: 45 minutes before the start of each performance
Location: Odeonzaal; entrance near the wardrobes