Die Blume von Hawaii
Die Blume von Hawaii
© Anna-Maria Löffelberger

The Flower of Hawaii

Paul Abraham

Libretto by Alfred Grünwald, Fritz Löhner-Beda and Imre Földes / In German

Premiere 09/19/2020 / Salzburg State Theatre


Exotic cocktails, a tropical island paradise and lots of sunshine: This is how Hawaii is presented in Paul Abraham’s jazz operetta “The Flower of Hawaii”. Under the idyllic surface, however, conflicts are brewing. The island state is occupied by the Americans and the Hawaiians demand their independence. The Hawaiian princess Laya is to be married to Prince Lilo-Taro and to be crowned queen in a festive ceremony – but Laya has disappeared. This is when Suzanne, a Hollywood star of Hawaiian ancestry, appears on the scene. She is the spitting image of Laya and suddenly finds herself at the centre of many misunderstandings, with the natives expecting her to go down in history as the flower queen of Hawaii. As if all that weren’t enough, amorous entanglements are also causing trouble in Hawaii.

“The Flower of Hawaii” premiered in 1931 and was an instant hit, as it perfectly reflected the zeitgeist of the 1930s. Paul Abraham, the “operetta king of Berlin”, enchanted audiences with his music, which relied on authentic Hawaiian guitars, Chinese drums and jazzy tunes. He assembled a highly entertaining tableau of characters, including Americans, Hawaiians, jazz singers and a captain, and added some energetic tap dancing. The previously lost original version clearly reveals the influence of early jazz music in popular operetta songs such as “My little Boy, ich bleib dir treu” and “Paradies am Meeresstrand”.

Paul Abraham (1892–1960), a Hungarian-German composer of Jewish ancestry, became the “operetta king of Berlin” in the early 1930s. When his works were proscribed by the Nazis, he fled to New York via Budapest, Paris and Cuba. After the Second World War, he returned to Europe in 1957.

Director Marco Dott is a master of musical theatre entertainment. Gabriel Venzago will be in charge of the musical’s spellbinding sound as principal conductor. They collaborate with choreographers Josef Vesely and Kate Watson and stage designer Christian Floeren, completing the successful crew that has also realised the State Theatre’s production of “The Rocky Horror Show”.

Duration 2h / no break