– Lehár and the aria by Mi in the operetta “Patiently smiling”

In previous blogs we wrote about the aria “I enter the room” sung by the Chinese Prince Sou-Chong and his love for Lisa, daughter of Count Lichtenfels from Vienna. They married and left for Peking.

Regretably, their love is being tested fiercly. Uncle Tschang, a very traditional man, warns the Prince that he ought to marry a Mantsju girl and he makes it very clear to Lisa that her position in Court, being a European girl, will always be inferior. But Sou-Chong ensures her that this is just formality, nothing more.

Mi, Sou-Chongs sister, becomes friends with Lisa. She sings the aria “Im Salon zur blau’en Pagode” and mocks her own culture, the role of the man and her uncle Tschang.

This is one of my all time favourites. I discovered the aria in 1998 when I was invited by the Havenstad Operetta from Rotterdam to sing with them during an open air concert in Gouda. Eric had given me a beautiful silk costume, which he had brought from India as a present and I thought this would definitely be suited for that occasion, looking a bit “Chinese”?

Next week I’ll present to you the text of this aria.

For now … have a wonderful week!

Marijke Persijn

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