Emmerich Kálmán

Arizona Lady

Operetta in two acts (1954)
Text by Alfred Grunwald and Gustave Beer
Arrangement of Norbert Biermann
Hungary in the Wild West! Katharine Mehrling as the resolute rancher with Hungarian roots in Emmerich Kálmán‘s Western operetta – premiered posthumously and here performed in Berlin for the very first time!

The heroine of the piece, as referred to in the title, is… a horse! Arizona Lady is a filly, as temperamental and stubborn as her owner Lona Farrell, who runs her late father’s ranch with an iron hand. Woe betide the cowboy who attempts to embark upon a romance with Lona. Her attitude causes great heartache to Sheriff Harry Sullivan, who has had his eye on Lona for some time. And now a new cowboy appears, Roy Dexter, and the sexual tension between Lona and Roy is obvious from the start. At least Roy knows how to handle Arizona Lady. As in every good Western, there is an unscrupulous baddie in the shape of notorious outlaw Burt Morton. Not even the Sheriff knows what he looks like. Is it possible that Roy Dexter may actually be Burt Morton?

This piece represents a "showdown" in the creative work of Emmerich Kálmán, who had stopped working with perhaps his best librettist, Alfred Grünwald (Countess Mariza, Bajadere, The Duchess of Chicago) at the end of the 1920s. Now the two Hungarians came together one last time in American exile for what proved to be Kálmán’s last work, creating an "American" operetta that could not be more European. A unique mixture of Budapest and Broadway, paprika and Paramount Pictures. Not to be compared with any other of the composer‘s operettas – yet among the very best of Kálmán’s works!


Musical direction


Lona Farrell
Roy Dexter
Nelly Nettleton
Arizona Boys

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