Die Csárdásfürstin Synopsis

Emmerich Kálmán's 3 Act Operetta

A monument was built to commemorate Emmerich Kálmán, the composer of the famous operetta, Die Csárdásfürstin, in Budapest, Hungary.
A monument was built to commemorate Emmerich Kálmán, the composer of the famous operetta, Die Csárdásfürstin, in Budapest, Hungary. Hermann Dobler/Getty Images

Die Csárdásfürstin, composed by Emmerich Kálmán, premiered on November 17, 1915, in the Johann Strauss Theatre, Vienna. Die Csárdásfürstin takes place just before the start of World War I in Budapest and Vienna.

Famous Arias

  • "Heia in den Bergen" (watch on YouTube)
  • "Heller Jubel - Weisst du es noch" (watch on YouTube)
  • "Sylvia, ich will nur dich" (watch on YouTube)

Characters

  • Sylva Varescu - a famous cabaret singer
  • Count Boni - Sylva's manager
  • Edwin Ronald - a Prince
  • Countess Staci - Edwin's cousin
  • Count Feri - a cabaret manager

Die Csárdásfürstin Synopsis: Act 1

Sylva Varescu, the shining star of Budapest's Orpheum Cabaret Theatre, is performing one last time before she leaves on an American tour. Prince Edwin, Count Boni, and Count Feri are some of Slyva's biggest admirers. Of the three men, it's Prince Edwin whom she loves. Prince Edwin's family back in Vienna disapprove of their relationship, but Prince Edwin wholeheartedly disagrees and continues to ignore his family's wishes. When Prince Edwin receives notice that he is to return to his regiment in Vienna, he visits a notary and has a document signed stating that he will marry Sylva within the next three months. Unfortunately, Prince Edwin is unaware that his family has already arranged a wife for him when he returns to Vienna - it's his cousin, Countess Staci.

Sylva is prepared to cancel her American tour, but when she learns about the Prince's marriage to another woman, she decides to leave after all.  Sylva and Count Boni, her manager, travel to America while Prince Edwin returns to Vienna.

Die Csárdásfürstin Synopsis: Act 2

In the Viennese home of Prince Edwin's parents nearly three months after Slyva departed for America, a large party is held for the purpose of announcing Prince Edwin's engagement to Countess Staci.

It's clear that Prince Edwin and Countess Staci like each other very much, but not in any romantic way. Prince Edwin is still in love with Sylva and hopes to hear any news regarding her American tour. To his surprise, Sylva and Boni arrive hand-in-hand to the party. Confused, but happy to see her, Sylva explains to Prince Edwin that she and Count Boni married each other while in America. (This this untrue, however. Prior to her arrival, Sylva cut her American tour short and convinced Count Boni to bring her Vienna to attend this party. She made him pretend to be her husband with hopes that this will raise her social status.) Prince Edwin is extremely upset. Meanwhile, Count Boni and Countess Staci have developed quite a relationship in the little time that they were introduced to each other. You can tell it was love at first sight. Sylva and Prince Edwin, both of whom still have feelings for the other, are deep in conversation. The Prince tells her that if his parents are to accept her, she must pretend to be divorced and her risen social status through a previous marriage would be permissible. However, when Sylva is alone, Prince Edwin's father speaks to her, informing her that she would need to claim her noble rank by some other means, otherwise, she'll be known as the Gypsy Princess.

Sylva cannot believe what she is hearing. With nothing but pride in her heritage, she causes a scene to embarrass both Prince Edwin and his father before storming out of the party.

Die Csárdásfürstin Synopsis: Act 3

After the disastrous party, Sylva and Count Boni return to their hotel in Vienna. Coincidently, Count Feri and the Orpheum's dancing girls are also staying there, having traveled down from Budapest, in order to set sail for America in the coming days to complete an American tour of their own. Sylva and Count Boni are happy to see him and the other girls. Prince Edwin soon arrives, having chased after Sylva all the way from his parents' home. Not long after, Prince Edwin's parents show up along with Countess Staci. Count Feri instantly recognizes Prince Edwin's mother - she used to be a famous cabaret singer from the same Orpheum Theatre in Budapest.

Knowing this fact, Sylva and Prince Edwin are allowed to wed and Count Boni and Countess Staci are too.