© SLT / Christian Krautzberger


Friedrich von Flotow

In deutscher Sprache mit deutschen und englischen Übertiteln

Romantic-comic opera in four acts. Based on the ballet “Lady Harriette ou La Servante de Greenwich” German libretto by Friedrich Wilhelm Riese based on the original by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges

Premiere: 15. März 2025 / Landestheater


Romantic comic opera in four acts. Based on the ballet “Lady Harriette ou La Servante de Greenwich”, German libretto by Friedrich Wilhelm Riese based on a story by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges

Friedrich von Flotow’s romantic comic opera was the world’s most frequently performed opera in the mid-19th century. The arias “Ach, so fromm” (tenor) and “Letzte Rose” (soprano) have been sung by all the great singers and can be found on many recordings. “Martha” saw another surge in its popularity in 1906, when Enrico Caruso incorporated its famous aria in his repertoire. In Loriot’s production of the work, “Martha” has become for Munich what “Die Fledermaus” is for Vienna.

The opera tells the story of Lady Harriet Durham, who out of boredom decides to play a prank together with her friend and dresses up as a maid, calling herself Martha and causing a slew of misunderstandings; the same theme is still used for romantic comedies in Hollywood. The plot, which sees the protagonist almost breaking the heart of Lyonel, a descendant of a formerly royal family, provides the cues for famous arias as well as cleverly instrumented duets, quartets and ensemble scenes. The work’s impressive orchestration still enthralls audiences and critics alike.

The world premiere took place on 25 November 1847 at Vienna’s Theater am Kärntnertor. The work soon became very popular and even though Flotow (1820–1892) went on to write another 17 operas, “Martha” remained his only great success. Flotow’s music is influenced by opéra comique, by Jacques Offenbach but also by Gaetano Donizetti. Even in its comedic moments, it achieves a natural seriousness that makes the characters lovable.

Christiane Lutz has staged productions at the Glyndebourne Festival, the Bavarian State Opera, the Paris Opera and the Semperoper. She has also presented “Manon” and the “Magic Flute” at the Salzburg State Theatre. Second Kapellmeister Tobias Meichsner conducts the orchestra. The team of designers Natascha Maraval and Dorothee Joisten have collaborated with Christiane Lutz on numerous productions in the past.