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1999 production photo from Countess Maritza

Countess Maritza 1999

July 2 - August 28, 1999

Romance is sweetest when served…

…with plenty of Viennese schlag.  A smash success at its Vienna premiere, and a triumph on Broadway in 1926 and in every operetta theatre around the world. Waltz your troubles away with sophisticated fun and all the tunes you thought were in The Merry Widow!

Music By
Emmerich Kálmán
Libretto By
Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald


Act I

The setting is the estate of the beautiful and wealthy aristocrat Countess Maritza, which is managed by a man who calls himself Bela Törek. He is, in fact, Count Tassilo Endrödy-Wittenburg, who was recently forced to sell all his possessions to pay his late father’s debts. Baron Karl-Stephan Liebenberg arrives and tells Tassilo that all accounts have been settled and he owes nothing more. Tassilo tells him he plans to remain in his new job, incognito, until his sister Lisa has a proper dowry.

Maritza returns home to the estate, ostensibly to celebrate her recent engagement. She tells those assembled that her fiancé was unfortunately detained. When Tassilo introduces himself as the new manager, she treats him with condescension.

Tassilo discovers that his sister Lisa has arrived with Maritza. The two of them meet, and he tells her he has adopted this disguise as a bet with friends. She promises to keep his secret.

Meanwhile, we learn that Maritza too has a secret; she confesses to her friend Ilka that she is not really engaged. In the hope of avoiding suitors who have been after her money, she told reporters she was going to marry a Baron Zsupan – who is actually a fictional character from an operetta.

To her amazement, Baron Zsupan’s arrival is announced. She tells him there must be some mistake, but he refuses to take no for an answer. The wedding party heads off for the tavern – except for the bride-to-be and her manager, to whom she apologizes and offers her friendship.

Act II

It is four weeks later. Lisa has fallen in love with Zsupan, who also seems to be developing feelings for her. Tassilo, attempting to discuss business matters with Maritza, finds himself distracted by her beauty. Zsupan announces that he cannot marry Maritza after all, since his grandfather’s will stipulates he must marry a poor woman or risk losing his own fortune. She is relieved.

A cabaret troupe entertains. Maritza and Tassilo begin to grow closer, though she is aware that their differences in social standing make marriage unthinkable.  Maritza finds a letter of Tassilo’s and, misinterpreting it, becomes convinced that he – like so many before him – is wooing her for her fortune. Angrily, she hands him a large sum of money, which he hurls at the feet of her guests. He then storms out with Lisa, whom he refers to as his sister. Maritza suddenly understands that the dowry he talks about in the letter is Lisa’s – and, what’s more, that he really is an aristocrat. She is thrilled.


The next morning, Tassilo hands in his resignation. Maritza tries to talk him into staying, but both are too proud to speak openly of what has happened. Tassilo’s aunt, the Princess Bozena, unexpectedly arrives and tells him that, thanks to oil discovered on their property, the family is rich again. She adds that she has arranged for him to be married lo a wealthy noble­woman. He tells her that he is in love with another.

Lisa discloses lo Zsupan that she is penniless. Thrilled, he proposes marriage, and she instantly accepts. Tassilo’s aunt learns that her nephew and Maritza are in love, but too proud and stubborn lo admit it. She arranges for Maritza to disguise herself as the wealthy noblewoman, and tells Tassilo he must explain to her why he cannot go forward with the marriage contract. Tassilo goes to her and apologizes for the misunderstanding. Maritza removes her disguise and the lovers embrace.


Sheri Greenawald headshot

Sheri Greenawald


Countess Maritza

Kevin Anderson headshot

Kevin Anderson


Count Tassilo

Constance Hauman headshot

Constance Hauman



Gert Henning-Jenson headshot

Gert Henning-Jensen


Baron Zsupan

Tamara Acosta headshot

Tamara Acosta



Ryland Davies headshot

Ryland Davies



Wilbur Pauley

Wilbur Pauley


Karl-Stephan Liebenberg

Timothy Nolen headshot

Timothy Nolen


Prince Popolescu

Judith Christin headshot

Judith Christin


Princess Bozena Cuddenstein zu Chlumetz

Grant Neale headshot

Grant Neale



Melina Pyron headshot

Melina Pyron



Anita Intrieri headshot

Anita Intrieri


Sara Lepere headshot

Sara Lepere


Molly Rose headshot

Molly Rose


Margaret Rowland headshot

Margaret Rowland


Marc Estrada headshot

Marc Estrada


Zack Grubbs headshot

Zack Grubbs


Cristobal Herrera headshot

Cristobal Herrera


Jason Lacayo headshot

Jason Lacayo


John Crosby headshot

John Crosby


Daniel Pelzig headshot

Daniel Pelzig



Santa Fe Opera

Maxine Willi Klein

Scenic Designer

Dona Granata headshot

Dona Granata

Costume Designer

Duane Schuler headshot

Duane Schuler

Lighting Designer

Robert Moody headshot

Robert Moody