Eine Nacht in Venedig, Johann Strauss Jr.

Title Eine Nacht in Venedig
English Title A Night in Venice
Composer Johann Strauss Jr.
Librettists F. Zell (Camillo Walzel) and Richard Genée
Language French, Dutch translation available
Genre Operetta in three acts
First performance 3 October, 1883, Neues Friedrich-Wilhelmstädtisches Theater, Berlin. First performance in Vienna 9 October 1883, Theater an der Wien
Time of action Around 1750
Place of action

Republic of Venice

  1. A small square; a house with a practicable balcony
  2. The duke of Urbino’s palace
  3. San Marco square
Main parts
  • The duke of Urbino, tenor
  • Delacqua, comic tenor or baritone
  • Annina, soprano
  • Caramello, tenor
  • Pappacoda, baritone
  • Ciboletta, soprano
Prominence of chorus Large
Orchestra 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, harp, timpani/percussion, strings
Special demands If desired a wind-orchestra on stage: two trumpets off stage; two zithers (not essential)
Full score and orchestral parts Available
Level The chorus parts are not difficult; some soloists’ parts quite demanding.
Length About 2½ hours (three acts)

The work contains many well-known numbers, e.g. Caramello’s barcarole and the lagoon-waltz. The scoring is particularly rich and tasteful. The music sounds pleasant and elegant, performance however is by no means a simple affair. The leading soprano (Annina) is expected to sing tricky coloraturas and high notes, and some of the ensembles are quite complicated (e.g. the cook’s quintet in the second finale).


The young duke of Urbino habitually attends the Venetian carnival. Old senator Delacqua intends to protect his lively wife Barbara from the duke’s charms so he sends her to a convent in Murano. Barbara, however, has other plans, for she has fallen in love with a handsome naval officer. She persuades her foster-sister Annina to go to Murano in her place. But the duke has heard about Delacqua’s precautions. He orders his barber and factotum Caramello, who is in love with Annina, to kidnap Barbara. Thus two intrigues get entangled. Caramello presents the duke with a masked lady, not realizing that she is not Barbara but his own Annina. Meanwhile the old senator has learned that the duke has a lucrative position for a person who shall manage to gain his favour. So Delacqua decides to present his wife to the duke after all. But again the lady is not Barbara, but Delacqua’s kitchen maid Ciboletta in disguise, who has a lover herself, Pappacoda. The latter, and the other jealous lover, Caramello, now do their utmost to prevent the duke from ever being alone with either of the two pseudo-Barbara’s. Various complications are the result. The end however, is satisfactory for most of the persons involved.

Costumes Eighteenth-century. Dominoes (loose cloaks) and grotesque masks are of course essential in this play of mistaken identities.
Pictures Odeon Alkmaar 2012 - 1st act Odeon Alkmaar 2012 - 2nd act Odeon Alkmaar 2012 - 3rd act: carnival!
Link Wikipedia

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Tags: Strauss | Zell | Fransen