The episodic story of a composer of operettas, Rudi Kleiber, in in old Viennese days, and the two women in his life; Maria Zeitler, his sweetheart, later mistress, lost love, an operetta ...
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The episodic story of a composer of operettas, Rudi Kleiber, in in old Viennese days, and the two women in his life; Maria Zeitler, his sweetheart, later mistress, lost love, an operetta star, and his first patron, and the mother of a son he did not know he had; and of Greta, his first love and companion in later years.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Both my mother and grandmother were avid Novello fans - a great-aunt even made soft furnishings for his London flat above The Strand Theatre. Therefore all my life I have been totally prejudiced against his sickly-sweet tunes and dated 'Ruritanian' fantasies. However recently I was asked to lecture on Novello as part of a course for a charity and so came about my damascene moment. To get the same effect you have to imagine yourself in a Europe on the brink of war a mere twenty years after a previous conflict had decimated the youth of your country. Amidst all the dark swirling storm clouds you yearn for some relief and decide to escape for a couple of hours to a West End theatre. There you enter into an enchanted parallel world where romance, love, trust, honour and beauty are the norm. Yet this wouldn't matter if the work you were watching was of a poor or insincere quality. Novello provides the dream-scape and for a short while you become enchanted. This 1976 version is 'big' for a TV production but cannot compare with a full-fledged Broadway or Hollywood spectacular yet it has the ring of truth. The book is so well written and the music so adeptly suited to the mood of the moment that all seems artless and sincere. You start to care for the fate of Rudi,Grete and Maria and become fretful as the final scene plays out to its inevitable conclusion. Okay, I've wandered into a dreamy state with this review but so might you. Please grab any chance to see it, watch with cynicism excised and perhaps you too will fall under the Novello spell.
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