Premiered in the same month as Richard Strauss’s Salome, Lehár’s operetta, The Merry Widow, was composed as an escapist romantic fantasy for a city in the grip of artistic and social revolution.

The writer and broadcaster Gavin Plumley, series advisor to the Philharmonia Orchestra’s recent Weimar Berlin: Bittersweet Metropolis season, joins Opera Holland Park’s Research and Repertoire consultant, Anna Picard, to explore the cultural context of The Merry Widow and the sensual allure of Vienna’s most popular musical export, the waltz.

This event is kindly hosted by the Matthiesen Gallery.