Operetta King Imre Kálmán

Concert-production of the life and work of Imre Kálmán in the theatre hall
Music from the operettas of Imre Kálmán
Premiere on January 9, 2019 at the Estonian National Opera

“Half a page of Ferenc Liszt’s music outweighs all my written and yet unwritten operettas.” This was uttered by Imre Kálmán, whom his contemporaries named a King of Operetta. With his first operetta “Autumn Manoeuvres” (1909) Kálmán proved to be an extremely talented operetta composer, a fact assured by the works that followed. He was unsurmountable as a melody master – he overflowed with beautiful and enticing melodies. It sometimes happened that he suddenly stopped in the middle of his walk to note down a melody. The same happened during dinners with his relatives, when he suddenly grabbed a serviette to fill it with notes. “Der Zigeunerprimas” (1912), “Die Csárdásfürstin” (1915), “Die Faschingsfee” (1917), “Die Bajadere” (1921), “Gräfin Mariza” (1924), “Die Zirkusprinzessin” (1926), “Die Herzogin von Chicago” (1928), “Das Veilchen von Montmartre” (1930) are some of his most renowned operettas.

Despite his success, fate pushed hardships in Kálmán’s way. Maybe this is the reason why the tragic sometimes surfaces even in his most joyful operettas.

The 2-act concert-performance is about the life, works and love of Imre Kálmán, pickled with beloved music. The leading roles are sung by the legends of operetta, Hans Miilberg as Imre Kálmán and Helgi Sallo as his wife Vera. The cast also includes Janne Shevtshenko, Helen Lokuta, Heli Veskus, Kristel Pärtna, Kristina Vähi, Juuli Lill, Triin Ella, Rauno Elp, René Soom, Urmas Põldma, Mehis Tiits and many others.

Staging team

  • Conductors: Lauri Sirp, Risto Joost
  • Stage Director and the author of the idea: Jaak Jõekallas
  • Designer: Reili Evart
  • Lighting Designer: Rasmus Rembel
  • Choreographer: Hedi Pundonen
  • Costumes: Ülle Kogerman
  • Animation: Chris Männik
Presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited


  • Sung in Estonian with subtitles in Estonian and English
  • Approx. running time 2 h 45 min, one intermission




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