Bright and Bubbly: Operetta from Vienna and Beyond

with Betsy Schwarm

The Wit of Paris and London

Can-Can girls and singing pirates:  welcome to the world of French and English operetta!  It’s one thing to have romance and humor as Viennese operetta offered.  However, in Paris and London, a dash of social satire came into the mix.  With Orpheus in the Underworld and The Pirates of Penzance, high-kicking chorus girls and hearty majors general take center stage! Music historian Betsy Schwarm brings stories behind the scenes and some delightfully familiar music.

In the series:
July 25: Viennese Sparkle
Aug. 1: The Wit of Paris and London
Aug. 8: The Bright Lights of Broadway

Bright and Bubbly: Operetta from Vienna and Beyond

with Betsy Schwarm

The Bright Lights of Broadway

Before Broadway became “Broadway,” there were European operettas. When these came to New York City, they taught American composers how to write more compelling stage works. Music historian Betsy Schwarm will explore how the European practice of having the music serve the story, rather than the other way around, put Gershwin and Company on a new path. From The Student Prince to Showboat and Girl Crazy, there’s a close connection – even with North American settings!

In the series:
July 25: Viennese Sparkle
Aug. 1: The Wit of Paris and London
Aug. 8: The Bright Lights of Broadway

Bright and Bubbly: Operetta from Vienna and Beyond

with Betsy Schwarm

Operetta is the lighter side of opera: engaging singing, spoken dialog, a happy ending, and some familiar tunes along the way! It’s a form of musical theatre that, after capturing the attention of European audiences, came to inspire early Broadway musicals. Music historian Betsy Schwarm brings her user-friendly insights with musical selections, video excerpts, and behind the scenes perspectives, sharing her love of the art form.

Viennese Sparkle

Take the swirl of a Strauss waltz and add a festive spirit and a case of champagne – the result is Viennese operetta!  No tragic endings. No fiendish bad guys. Just couples successfully working out their differences against a largely light-hearted background and a fair measure of social dancing. Music historian Betsy Schwarm brings us into the worlds of Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow. The champagne flows and romance grows with a danceable happy ending!

In the series:
July 25: Viennese Sparkle
Aug. 1: The Wit of Paris and London
Aug. 8: The Bright Lights of Broadway