The Gypsy Baron

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The Gypsy Baron () is an operetta in three acts by Johann Strauss II which premiered at the Theater an der Wien on 24 October 1885. Its libretto was by the author Ignaz Schnitzer and in turn was based on Sáffi by Mór Jókai. During the composer's lifetime, the operetta enjoyed great success, second only to the popularity of Die Fledermaus. The scoring and the nature of Strauss's music have also led many music critics to consider this work a comic opera or a lyric opera.

Its genesis was rather swift and smooth, as Strauss was no stranger to the Hungarian influences apparent in the music score. Many of his earlier works also bore many similar themes, such as the polka Éljen a Magyar! ("Long live the Hungarians!") op. 332. Originally, Strauss and Schnitzer intended the operetta as an opera but further revisions were made and the idea of a comic opera was conceived.

Strauss' work on the operetta was interrupted in autumn 1883 due to nicotine poisoning and fainting fits and he was to recuperate in Franzensbad. Strauss work on the act 3 of the work was also interrupted when his third wife, Adele Strauss, was taken ill and the couple left for Ostend. Not until autumn 1885 was the work finally completed, with Schitzer making various revisions of the libretto to suit Strauss' style of composing such as not present in the latter's previous stage works.

Performance history

Strauss' music for The Gypsy Baron is regularly performed today. The orchestral pieces that...
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