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Franz Lehár

Biography

Probably the most prominent figure of the first twentieth century Viennese operetta revival, Franz Lehár ranks among history’s greatest composers within the genre. He was known most importantly for his worldwide achievement Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow). That function kicked off a vogue for Viennese operetta in the us. He extended the genre by presenting more serious topics in such functions as Eva. Die lustige Witwe acquired the dubious honor to be Hitler’s preferred stage function ever, but its merits are higher than this suggestion signifies. Dramatic and energetic, full of lifestyle, it is first and filled with melodic invention. The libretto is certainly unusually good, as well as the story filled with love and wit. Lehár’s ancestry included a typically Central Western european ethnic combine: his dad, a composer, horn participant, and bandmaster of be aware, had roots within the Czech-German Sudetenland, and his mom was Hungarian. The youthful Franz examined violin and inserted the Prague Conservatory at age group 12. He examined instrumental functionality and structure, and in 1888 was employed being a violinist within a Rhineland movie theater orchestra. He was drafted in to the armed service, beginning an extended career like a armed service bandmaster, pursuing in his father’s and uncle’s footsteps. Lehár made up marches, waltzes, and dances, and, following a fresh post brought him to Vienna from Budapest, attempted his hands at operetta. He became music movie director of the Theatre an der Wien in 1902, but his 1st operettas, apart from Der Rastelbinder (The Tinker), weren’t terribly effective. Lehár was another choice as composer for the Merry Widow libretto, however the runaway achievement of that function founded for him a long term put on the world’s phases. Der Mann mit den drei Frauen (THE PERSON with Three Wives), Der Graf von Luxemburg (The Count number of Luxembourg), and Zigeunerliebe (Gypsy Like) had been all provided in 1908 and cemented Lehár’s achievement. So when Lehár became better known, his stage functions became a lot more ambitious, and he started to draw in the musical sources of modern grand opera, specially the functions of Puccini, in his ratings. Through the First Globe War he once again executed music for the armed forces. After the battle, Viennese opera dropped in reputation as brand-new kinds of well-known music overran the picture, including blues and American well-known dance tunes. Rather than acknowledging beat, Lehár tried to include these brand-new elements in to the Viennese genre. The effect was even more successes. His achievement within the 1920s was also because of the well-known tenor, Richard Tauber, who could deal with Lehár’s increasing complicated vocal assignments. Two of Lehár’s greatest operettas in the postwar period consist of Der Zarewitsch (The Tsarevitch) of 1927 and Das Property des Lächelns (The Property of Smiles) of 1929. Lehár also started composing film ratings and generating filmed variations of his operettas. Giuditta, based on the biblical tale of Judith, was his last opera, stated in 1934. Written for the Vienna Staatsoper, its dramatic content material and music helped blur the variation between severe opera as well as the lighter genre, that was within the wane. An ambitious function, it had been broadcast by 120 radio businesses. Lehár continued to be in Vienna through the Second Globe War, despite the fact that his wife was Jewish. He continued to be aloof from politics, and therefore briefly attracted the eye of Allied anti-fascist researchers after the battle.

Quick Facts


Full Name Franz Lehár
Died October 24, 1948, Bad Ischl, Austria
Profession Actor, Composer, Conductor
Education Prague Conservatory
Spouse Sophie Lehár
Parents Franz Lehár, Krisztina Neubrandt
Siblings Anton Lehár, Eduárd Lehár, Anna Mária Lehár
Music Songs Ballsirenen, Lippen schweigen, Vilja Lied, Gold and Silver Waltz, Das Land des Lächelns: Dein ist mein ganzes Herz, La Veuve joyeuse: L'Heure exquise, The Merry Widow: Overture, Giuditta: Act IV. "Meine Lippen, Die Küssen So Heiss", Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiß, Merry Widow Waltzes, Es Lebt' Eine Vilja, Ich hol dir vom Himmel das Blau, Piave-Marsch, Vilia, Ja, das Studium der Weiber ist schwer, Paganini: Liebe, du Himmel auf Erden, Giuditta: Meine Lippen, Sie Küssen So Heiß, Paganini „Niemand liebt dich so wie ich”, Die Lustige Witwe: Vilja, Ja, wir sind es, die Grisetten..., Giuditta - Freunde, das Leben ist lebenswert, Gern Hab Ich Die Frau'n Geküßt, Girls were Made to Love and Kiss, Freunde, Das Leben Ist Lebenswert, Land of Smiles Overture, O Mädchen, Mein Mädchen, Jetzt geht's los, Zigeunerliebe: Walzer, Gypsy Love, The Merry Widow: Finale, Ich bin eine anständ'ge Frau, Valsa da Viúva Alegre
Albums The Merry Widow, Highlights, Lehar: Das Land des Lächelns - Die Lustige Witwe, Die lustige Witwe, Die lustige Witwe / Suppé: Ouvertüren (Berliner Philharmoniker feat. conductor: Herbert von Karajan), Abschiedskonzert, Paganini, Zigeunerliebe, Die blaue Mazur, Tatjana, Franz Lehàr dirigiert, Lehar: Lieder, Vol. 1, Lehár: Ouvertures d'Amour tzigane & du Pays du sourire (Mono Version), The Merry Widow (Wiener Philharmoniker & The Monteverdi Choir feat. conductor: John Eliot Gardiner), Der Graf von Luxemburg, Franz Lehar : La Veuve Joyeuse (opérette), Giuditta, Merry Widow, Das Land des Lächelns, Lehar, Hassall: The Land of Smiles, La Veuve Joyeuse (extraits), Masterpieces of Operetta: Franz Lehár Conducts Lehár, Vol. 2 (2015 Digital Remaster), Die lustige Witwe: Schwarzkopf, Gedda, Kunz conducted by Otto Ackermann, Lehar Conducts Lehar: Waltzes and Overtures, Giuditta (Sung in English), Operettenfestival: Classic Collection, Volume 3, Lehár Waltzes, Der Zarewitsch, Lehár: Paganini, Leha´r: Wo die Lerche singt, Masterpieces of Operetta: Franz Lehár Conducts Lehár, Vol. 1 (Remastered 2015), The Greatest Austrian Composers, The Merry Widow, Hungarian Themes, Im Weissen Rössl / Die Lustige Witwe, La Belle Époque (feat. trumpet: Maurice André), Die lustige Witwe / Zigeunerliebe / Eva / Paganini / Der Zarewitsch / Friederike / Das Land des Lächelns / Schön ist die Welt / Giuditta (extracts), Franz Lehar
Movies The Merry Widow


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 He was elected an honorary citizen of Sopron in 1940.
2 A 1942 Vienna broadcast of his operetta Paganini conducted by the composer has survived, starring soprano, Esther Réthy and tenor, Karl Friedrich (de). A 1942 Berlin radio production of Zigeunerliebe with Herbert Ernst Groh, conducted by Lehár, also survives.
3 On Hitler's birthday in 1938 Lehár had given him as a special gift a red maroquin leather volume in commemoration of the 50th performance of The Merry Widow.
4 While his younger brother Anton entered cadet school in Vienna to become a professional officer, Franz studied violin at the Prague Conservatory, where his violin teacher was Antonín Bennewitz, but was advised by Antonín Dvorák to focus on composition.
5 After graduation in 1888 he joined his father's band in Vienna, as assistant bandmaster. Two years later he became bandmaster at Losoncz, East Slovakia, making him the youngest bandmaster in the Austro-Hungarian Army at that time, but he left the army and joined the navy. With the k.u.k. Kriegsmarine he was first Kapellmeister at Pola from 1894 to 1896, resigning in the latter year when his first operetta, Kukuschka (later reworked as Tatjana in 1906), premiered at the Wiener Volksoper. It was only a middling success and Lehár eventually rejoined the army, with service in the garrisons at Trieste, Budapest (1898) and finally Vienna from 1899 to 1902. In 1902 he became conductor at the historic Vienna Theater an der Wien, where his operetta Wiener Frauen was performed in November of that year.
6 Lehár was also associated with the operatic tenor Richard Tauber, who sang in many of his operettas, beginning with a revival of his 1910 operetta Zigeunerliebe (de) in 1920 and then Frasquita (de) in 1922, in which Lehár once again found a suitable post-war style. Lehár made a brief appearance in the 1930 film adaptation The Land of Smiles starring Tauber.
7 In 1947, Lehár conducted the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich in a series of 78-rpm recordings for English Decca (released in the U.S. by London Records) of overtures and waltzes from his operettas. The recordings had remarkable sound for their time because they were made using Decca's Full Frequency Range Recording process, one of the first commercial high fidelity techniques. These recordings were later issued on LP (in 1969 on Decca eclipse ECM 2012 and reprocessed stereo on ECS 2012) and CD. A compilation of his recordings has been released by Naxos Records.
8 Between 1925 and 1934 he wrote six operettas specifically for Tauber's voice. By 1935 he decided to form his own publishing house, Glocken-Verlag (Publishing House of the Bells), to maximize his personal control over performance rights to his works.
9 He is mainly known for his operettas, of which the most successful and best known is The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe).
10 There is a street in Vienna named after him. Additionally, several towns in the Netherlands have named streets after him (e.g. in The Hague, Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Tilburg).
11 However, the Conservatory's rules at that time did not allow students to study both performance and composition, and Bennewitz and Lehár senior exerted pressure on Lehár to take his degree in violin as a practical matter, arguing that he could study composition on his own later. Lehár followed their wishes, against his will, and aside from a few clandestine lessons with Zdenek Fibich he was self-taught as a composer.
12 His younger brother Anton became the administrator of his estate, promoting the popularity of Franz Lehár's music.
13 The Nazi regime was aware of the uses of Lehár's music for propaganda purposes: concerts of his music were given in occupied Paris in 1941. Even so, Lehár's influence was limited: it is said that he tried personally to secure Hitler's guarantee of the safety of one of his librettists, Fritz Löhner-Beda, but he was not able to prevent the murder of Beda in Auschwitz-III.
14 On 12 January 1939 and 30 April 1940 Lehár had personally received awards by Hitler in Berlin and Vienna, including the Goethe medal.
15 Hitler enjoyed Lehár's music, and hostility diminished across Germany after Goebbels's intervention on Lehár's part.[2.
16 Although Lehár was Roman Catholic, his wife, Sophie (née Paschkis) had been Jewish before her conversion to Catholicism upon marriage, and this was sufficient to generate hostility towards them personally and towards his work.
17 Lehár's relationship with the Nazi regime was an uneasy one. He had always used Jewish librettists for his operas and had been part of the cultural milieu in Vienna which included a significant Jewish contingent.
18 He was the eldest son of Franz Lehár (senior) (1838-1888), an Austrian bandmaster in the Infantry Regiment No. 50 of the Austro-Hungarian Army and Christine Neubrandt (1849-1906), a Hungarian woman from a family of German descent. He grew up speaking only Hungarian until the age of 12. Later he put a diacritic above the "a" of his father's name "Lehar" to indicate the long vowel in Hungarian phonology.
19 Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a set of discs recording the 1939 Saarbrucken concert of Lehár's works by German State Transmitter Saarbrucken conducted by Franz Lehár himself was discovered in East German state archives. This was released on CDs by Cpo-Musikproduktion in 2000.
20 In 1938 Mrs. Lehár was given the status of "Ehrenarierin" (honorary Aryan by marriage). Nonetheless, attempts were made at least once to have her deported.


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hail, Caesar! 2016 writer: "The Merry Widow Waltz Ballsirenenwalzer"
Yarden 2016 "Heut noch werd ich Ehefrau"
The Lives We Lead 2015 writer: "Die Lustige Witwe"
The Metropolitan Opera HD Live 2014-2015 TV Series music - 2 episodes
Beauty & the Beat: Tarja Turunen & Mike Terrana 2014 Video writer: "Vilja Lied"
Eröffnung der Wiener Festwochen 2013 - Wien, Wien, nur du allein? 2013 TV Movie writer: "Freunde, das Leben ist lebenswert"
Muisteja: Pieni elokuva 1950-luvun Oulusta 2013 Documentary writer: "Kultaa ja hopeaa Gold und Silber"
Der Salon am Dienstag 2012 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Wir sind Kaiser 2010 TV Series writer - 1 episode
The City of Your Final Destination 2009 writer: "The Merry Widow, Second Act: No.7 Introduction, Tanz und Vilja-Lied"
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression 2009 Video documentary music: "Maxim's" - uncredited
Flawless 2007 writer: "The Merry Widow Waltz"
The Berlin Concert 2006 TV Movie documentary writer: "Giuditta - Meine Lippen, sie kussen so heib", "Das Land des Lachelns - Dein ist mein ganzes Herz"
Die lustige Witwe 2005 TV Movie music: "Die lustige Witwe, Operetta in three acts"
As It Is in Heaven 2004 writer: "Glada Änkan" - as Franz Lehar
The Blues 2003 TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
Manna from Heaven 2002 writer: "Merry Widow Waltz"
The Lost World 2002 TV Series writer - 1 episode
U-571 2000 writer: "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz"
Man of the Century 1999 writer: "The Merry Widow Waltz" - as Franz Lehar
Eros ja Psykhe 1998 writer: "Gold und Silber"
The 3 Tenors in Concert 1994 1994 TV Special music: "Lippen Schweigen"
Schindler's List 1993 music: "Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss" - uncredited
Ein Schloß am Wörthersee 1991 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Liebestraum 1991 music: "The Merry Widow Waltz"
The Rocketeer 1991 writer: "VILIA"
Szomszédok 1990 TV Series music - 1 episode
Tatie Danielle 1990 performer: "Heures exquises"
A Chorus of Disapproval 1989 music: "THE MERRY WIDOW"
Tilinteko 1987 writer: "Du är min hela värld Dein ist Mein ganzes Hertz"
Privates on Parade 1983 music: "Mazurka" - uncredited
Polizeiinspektion 1 1981 TV Series music - 1 episode
Hollywood 1980 TV Mini-Series documentary writer - 2 episodes
The Frisco Kid 1979 writer: "Waltz 'Gold and Silver'"
The Norman Conquests 1977 TV Mini-Series writer - 2 episodes
That's Entertainment, Part II 1976 Documentary music: "I'm Going to Maxim's" 1907, "Girls, Girls, Girls" 1907, "Can-Can" 1907, "The Merry Widow Waltz" 1907 - uncredited
Upstairs, Downstairs 1972 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Death in Venice 1971 writer: "Lippen schweigen"/Merry Widow Waltz - uncredited
Torture Me, Kiss Me 1970 music: "The Merry Widow Waltz" - uncredited
Reflections in a Golden Eye 1967 music: "Mazurka" - uncredited
Mi vedrai tornare 1966 music: "TU CHE MI HAI PRESO IL CUOR"
Los amores de Marieta - Los Fabulosos 20s 1964 writer: "Gigolette"
Die lustige Witwe 1962 music: "Die lustige Witwe" operetta - as Franz Lehar
Hvezda jede na jih 1958 music: "Líbám, zeny, vás tak rád"
Der Zarewitsch 1954 music: "WolgaLied"
Das Land des Lächelns 1952 music: "Das Land des Lächelns" / writer: "Bei einem Tee en Deux", "Immer nur lächeln", "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz", "Von Apfelblüten einen Kranz", "Liebes Schwesterlein, sollst nicht traurig sein", "Wer hat die Liebe uns ins Herz gesenkt", "Ich möch' wieder einmal die Heimat seh'n", "Gern, gern wär'ich verliebt", "Freunderl mach dir nix draus", "Meine Liebe, deine Liebe"
The Merry Widow 1952 music: "Can-Can", "The Merry Widow Waltz", "Red as the Rose of Maytime", "Villa" - uncredited
Young People 1952 music: "The Merry Widow Waltz" - uncredited
Iris and the Lieutenant 1946 music: From "THE MERRY WIDOW"
The Heavenly Body 1944 music: "The Merry Widow Waltz" 1907 - uncredited
Shadow of a Doubt 1943 music: "The Merry Widow Waltz" 1905 - uncredited
Wo die Lerche singt 1936 music: "Wenn zwei sich lieben und verstehn", "Mag der Himmel mit euch sein", "Durch die weiten Felder", "Palikam, Palikam, schöner Mann"
Die ganze Welt dreht sich um Liebe 1935 writer: "Die ganze Welt dreht sich um Liebe"
La veuve joyeuse 1935 "Girls, Girls, Girls", "Vilia", "Tonight Will Teach Me To Forget", "Maxim's", "The Merry Widow Waltz", "If Widows are Rich", "Melody of Laughter"
The Merry Widow 1934 music: "Girls, Girls, Girls" 1905, "Vilia" 1905, "Tonight Will Teach Me to Forget" 1905, "Maxim's" 1905, "The Merry Widow Waltz" 1905, "If Widows Are Rich" 1905, "Melody of Laughter" 1905 - uncredited
Hell's Angels 1930 music: "Eva Waltz" - uncredited
The Rogue Song 1930 music: "The White Dove"
Synthetic Sin 1929 music: "Eva" - uncredited

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Operettemelodieën 1967 TV Movie
Paganini 1961 TV Movie
O Viúvo Alegre 1960 from operetta "Die lustige Witwe"
The Merry Widow 1958 TV Movie
Where the Lark Sings 1956
Omnibus 1954 TV Series 1 episode
Der Zarewitsch 1954 from operetta "Der Zarewitsch"
O Conde de Luxemburgo 1952 TV Movie
Eva 1952 TV Movie
A Viúva Alegre 1952 TV Movie
Das Land des Lächelns 1952 from operetta: 'Das Land des Lächelns'
Wo die Lerche singt 1936 from operetta "Wo die Lerche singt"
Frasquita 1934
Gern hab' ich die Frau'n geküßt 1934 from operetta "Paganini"
Son altesse impériale 1933 from operetta "Der Zarewitsch"
Großfürstin Alexandra 1933 from operetta "Großfürstin Alexandra"
Der Zarewitsch 1933
Where Is This Lady? 1932
Once There Was a Waltz 1932
Wiener Liebschaften 1931
Amours viennoises 1931
O Mädchen, mein Mädchen, wie lieb' ich Dich! 1930 from operetta "Friederike"
Der lustige Witwer 1929
Franz Lehar 1929
Der Zarewitsch 1929
Das Fürstenkind 1927
The Count of Luxembourg 1926
Franz Lehar 1923
Luxemburg grófja 1922
Töte sie! 1920 Short
Drótostót 1918
Wo die Lerche singt 1918
A víg özvegy 1918
Mit Herz und Hand fürs Vaterland 1915
O Conde de Luxemburgo 1911 Short from operetta "Der Graf von Luxemburg"
Liebes Mannchen, folge Mir 1910 Short
Der Graf von Luxemburg 1910 Short
Greven af Luxemburg 1910 Short
A Viúva Alegre 1909/II Short
A Viúva Alegre (I) 1909 Short
Duel de los Patos 1909 Short as Franz Lehar
Duo de Amor 1909 Short as Franz Lehar
La Educanda di Sorrento 1909 Short as Franz Lehar
Valsa da Viúva Alegre 1909 Short
Der Rastelbinder 1908 Short
Die lustige Witwe: Dummer Reitersmann 1908 Short
Die Lustige Witwe 1907 Short

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
A Viúva Alegre 1909/I music: from "Die lustige Witwe"
The Metropolitan Opera HD Live 2015 TV Series music by - 1 episode
Robert Stolz - Musik der Versöhnung 2009 TV Movie documentary composer: stock music
Andre Rieu: Live in Vienna 2008 TV Special music
Die lustige Witwe 2007 TV Movie music by
La Veuve Joyeuse 2007 TV Movie music by
Der Graf von Luxemburg 2006 TV Movie music by
Die lustige Witwe 2005 TV Movie music by
Great Performances 2002 TV Series music by - 1 episode
La veuve joyeuse 1997 TV Movie music by
Gold and Silver Gala with Placido Domingo 1996 TV Special music: "Gold und Silber - Waltzer op. 79"
Live from Lincoln Center 1996 TV Series music by - 1 episode
Die lustige Witwe 1993 TV Movie music by
Kai efthymi... kai hira 1991 TV Series music: from "Die lustige Witwe" - 1991
The Merry Widow 1988 TV Movie music by
Zeme úsmevu 1986 TV Movie music by
Lehar-Express 1985 TV Movie composer: theme music
The Merry Widow 1983 TV Movie music by
Paganini 1982 TV Movie music by
Zigeunerliebe 1974 TV Movie composer: Operetta in 2 acts
Das Land des Lächelns 1974 music by
Der Zarewitsch 1973 TV Movie music by: Operette von
Der Graf von Luxemburg 1972 music by - as Franz Lehar
Giuditta (Freunde das Leben ist lebenswert) 1970 TV Movie music by
The Merry Widow 1968 TV Movie music by: "Die lustige Witwe"
Ye mei gui zhi lian 1960 composer: song "Feng liu gua fu" from "The Merry Widow"
Gay Operetta 1959 TV Series music by - 1 episode
Folio 1959 TV Series music - 1 episode
Airs de France 1958 TV Series music by - 1 episode
Der Graf von Luxemburg 1957 music by
Max Liebman Presents: The Merry Widow 1955 TV Movie music by
The Merry Widow 1952 music by: "Die lustige Witwe"
Ang viuda alegre 1941 music: from "Die lustige Witwe"
Dreams Come True 1936 music: based on "Clo-Clo"
Die ganze Welt dreht sich um Liebe 1935 music: based on "Clo-Clo"
Eva, the Factory Girl 1935 music by
La veuve joyeuse 1935 music by
The Merry Widow 1934 music by - as Franz Lehar
Frasquita 1934 conductor
Das Land des Lächelns 1930 music by
The Merry Widow 1925 adapter: from operetta by - as Franz Lehar
Luxemburg grófja 1918 music: from "Der Graf von Luxemburg"
A Viúva Alegre 1911 music: from "Die lustige Witwe"
A Viúva Alegre 1910 Short music by

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Frasquita 1934 Conductor in credits sequence
Das Land des Lächelns 1930 Der Kapellmeister - Himself
Franz Lehar 1929
Franz Lehar, der Operettenkönig 1925

Camera Department

Camera Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Zenés TV színház 1970 TV Series stock music - 1 episode

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
That's Entertainment, Part II 1976 Documentary acknowledgement: the special style and content of the musical sequences were created by

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Geschichten rund um's Riesenrad 2016 TV Movie documentary Himself
Österreich - Unser Jahrhundert 1999 TV Series documentary Himself
Oh, du mein Österreich 1959 Documentary Himself

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