Lily Elsie, 1900

Lily Elsie, 1900

The Merry Widow the English version of Franz Lehar's Viennese operetta Die Lustige Witwe, took London by storm in 1907, making a star of Lily Elsie. In Vienna, Sonia had originally been performed by a mature, quite stout performer and, as one of the authors remarked, 'She looks more like ze Merry Widow's daughter zan ze Merry Widow'. Lily herself felt her voice wasn't good enough, and begged to be released from her contract. However, producer George Edwardes was convinced she was perfect for the role. He was right. The reviews were amazing