The Merry Widow


The Merry Widow

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House

New production

Sway, smile and swoon your way through our delicious new production of The Merry Widow.

It’s an opulent party, all glitz and glamour and Parisian charm. It’s an old-fashioned romance, flirty and funny and fabulous. It’s a Viennese waltz and you know all the steps.

The Merry Widow is a “shimmering all-singing, all dancing Broadway style show” (The Sydney Morning Herald), a frothy comedy packed with familiar waltzes and tuneful melodies.

From the sumptuous Art Deco era costumes to the stunning, geometric sets, the show is “visually stunning … sometimes you simply don’t know where to look” (The Sydney Morning Herald).

The vivacious Danielle de Niese plays the bubbly, beautiful Hanna: newly wealthy, newly widowed, and suddenly the hottest catch in town. 

Graeme Murphy brings his signature brand of lively choreography and deft direction to the dance-packed score.


Let's waltz, let's sway the night away.

It's time for a little romance.

There's a fortune at stake — which match will she make?

She'll lead you a merry old dance.

Enjoy dinner before the opera at Sydney Opera House

Petits fours: opera gateau, framboise macaroon, Champagne truffleAllow us to make your dinner reservation for you: 6pm in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre. You'll be served a themed three-course menu for just $69, including a Kir Royale on arrival. View the menu.

Simply add dinner to your cart after selecting tickets.

Conductor Vanessa Scammell
Director & Choreographer Graeme Murphy
Creative Associate Janet Vernon
Set Designer Michael Scott-Mitchell
Costume Designer Jennifer Irwin
Lighting Designer Damien Cooper
Sound Designer Tony David Cray
Assistant Director & Choreographer Shane Placentino
Assistant Director Matthew Barclay
English Translation Justin Fleming
Hanna Glavari Danielle de Niese (evenings) 
  Julie Lea Goodwin (Saturday matinées)
Danilo Danilovich Alexander Lewis
Baron Mirko Zeta David Whitney
Valencienne Stacey Alleaume
Camille de Rosillon John Longmuir
Njegus Benjamin Rasheed
Alexis Kromov Richard Anderson
Dominik Bogdanovich Christopher Hillier
Sylviane Jane Ede (except 5 Jan)
  Celeste Lazarenko (5 Jan)
Raoul de St. Brioche Brad Cooper
Viscount Nicolas Cascada Luke Gabbedy
Olga Kromov Agnes Sarkis
Konrad Pritschich Tom Hamilton
Praskovia Dominica Matthews

Opera Australia Chorus

Opera Australia Orchestra

Please note that this performance contains strobe lighting.

Running time: approximately 2 hours & 55 minutes, including two intervals.

This production of The Merry Widow was commissioned by the Opera Conference, Australia's national partnership of professional opera companies.
The StoryHide

The tiny state of Pontevedro is bankrupt. Their only hope of financial salvation lies in Hanna, a beautiful widow who inherited her husband's fortune after just eight days of marriage.

The Pontevedrians must convince her to marry a local, lest she take her fortune to foreign shores.

But she's got a history with the man they've got in mind, and there are many twists and turns on the road to falling in love again...

Not afraid of spoilers? Read the full synopsis.

Act I

The Pontevedrian embassy, Paris.The Balkan state of Pontevedro is facing financial ruin. Its best hope is that Hanna Glavari, a young rich widow, should marry a Pontevedrian and keep her fortune in Pontevedro, rather than risk marrying a Parisian and losing the money to France. The Pontevedrian Embassy holds a state ball to which Hanna and her former lover, Danilo Danilovich are invited. Before her marriage into wealth, Hanna was a poor farm girl whom Danilo’s uncle forbade him to marry. Now the pressure is on to reunite them in marriage. But as Danilo loved the poor farm girl, can he love the wealthy widow?

Act II

Hanna’s home in Paris, the next day. Hanna holds a Pontevedrian party. Valencienne, the young wife of the Pontevedrian ambassador, Baron Zeta, continues a fragile romance with a young Frenchman, Camille, who has written a dangerous confession of love on her fan. The intrigue deepens when Hanna and Camille are discovered in the summer house and the hope of her reunion with Danilo appears doomed.


Maxim’s Nightclub, later the same evening. Hanna has reserved the popular nightspot, where she sparks Danilo’s anger by her coquettish antics with the grisettes. The various love intrigues are resolved by vital discoveries about Valencienne’s fan - and the will of Hanna’s late husband!


Dinner in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre

Allow us to make your dinner reservation for you: 6pm at in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre.

You'll be served a themed three-course menu for just $69, including a Kir Royale on arrival. Simply add dinner to your cart after selecting your tickets.

On Arrival

Kir Royal (Moët Royale $15 supplement)
Sourdough, Pepe Saya butter

(Additional beverage available on the night) 

First course

Smoked salmon, creme fraiche, chives, potato blinis
Holy Goats cheese, witlof, green lentils & beetroot vinegar (V)

Second course

Chicken, mushroom, 'Pomme Maxim'
Gnocchi Parisenne (V)

Mixed greens ($7)

Third course

Petits fours: Gold opera gâteau, framboise macaroon, Champagne truffle
Espresso or herbal tea selection

"A delightful night out under Australia’s most iconic roof."

— Australian Stage

"The attractive, engaging production spills over us with sumptuous momentum, visual delights and a dazzling physicality to the storytelling."

Sydney Arts Guide 

"The Merry Widow is a bulls-eye"

The Sydney Morning Herald

"★★★★★ Bubbling over with opulence, it doesn’t get more fun than this."

Limelight Magazine

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