Comic Opera in three acts - Text by F Zell and R Genee
Composer: Suppe, Franz von 1819 - 1895
English version by Rodney Blumer, Jean Shaw and Christopher Shaw
Fatinitza was composed in 1876, only two years after Johann Strauss II’s popular Die Fledermaus, and used the same librettists – Friedrich Zell and Richard Geneé. A great success for the remainder of the nineteenth century, Fatinitza is set during the Crimean War, and concerns Russian lieutenant Vladmir’s efforts to marry the niece (Lydia) of General Kantschukoff, despite her abduction by a Turkish Pasha. In order to discourage Vladimir from courting Lydia, Kantschukoff transfers Vladimir to serve in the infantry at Isaktscha. Just for fun, Vladmir dresses up as ‘Fatinitza’, having done so once before and having won the affections of the General in the process. When the Turkish governor attacks the camp, both Vladmir/Fatinitza (now posing as Lydia’s maid) and Lydia are abducted. The second act is set in the harem of the Pasha’s Palace, where Lydia’s freedom is eventually achieved. Vladimir introduces himself to the general as Fatinitza’s caring brother, and Kantschukoff consents to the marriage of Vladmir and Lydia. The role of Vladimir/Fatinitza is a traditionally played by a woman.
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