Kálmán: Kaiserin Josephine
Franz Lehár Orchestra; Portmann, Miriam; Schmitzberger, Paul; Brandstetter, Adelheid; Schirrmacher, Vincent; Stöckler, Birgit; Bad Ischl Lehár Festival Choir; Burkert, Marius; Martin, Roman; Blasina, Valentino; Stanek, Florian; Grabner, Theresa; Scheschareg, Steven; Schram, August
Michael Lakner selected an absolute operetta rarity for a premiere during his last season as the director of the Lehar Festival in 2017: Kaiserin Josephine (Empress Josephine) by Emmerich Kalman. The operetta in 8 scenes by the Hungarian composer features German libretto by Paul Knepler and Geza Herczeg. It premiered in Zurich at the Stadt Theater in 1936, but has been rarely performed since then. In 1961 Eduard Macku founded the Bad Ischl Operetta Festival – today the Bad Ischl Lehár Festival – and made the Franz Lehár-Orchestra a permanent fixture of the festival. After the death of Eduard Macku Gabriel Patocs assumed conducting duties of the orchestra in Vienna, while Walter Erla was appointed conductor of the orchestra in Bad Ischl. During the festival directorship of Martin C. Turba (2000 – 2003) and Michael Lakner (2004- 2017) the Franz Lehár-Orchestra performed under such notable conductors as Franz Bauer-Theussl, Herbert Mogg, Alfred Eschwé, Wolfgang Bozic, Marius Burkert, Vinzenz Praxmarer, and Oliver Ostermann.