Lehár: Das Land des Lächelns

Das Land des Lächelns, by Franz Lehár ???
Translated the Land of Smiles, this operetta represents late 19th-century Viennese “pop” art, similar to the Gilbert and Sullivan works in England. Like Gilbert and Sullivan, Lehár creates an operetta with a mix of song and spoken text, a profusion of catchy melodies, and a very lame storyline. This operetta is the epitome of truly lame storylines, with a Viennese lady of aristocratic descent falling in love with a Chinese prince, marrying, and then going back to China with him, only to discover that he intends to marry many women. The opera ends as a quasi-tragedy, though many tears are not generated. The singing is superb, so it’s hard to be too tough on the entire operetta. I wouldn’t keep it in my desert island collection, Lehár deserves a rightful audience, just as one needs to watch the Mikado at least once.