This work of the renowned composer premiered in 1928, first in Vienna, then in Budapest. In the intervening years it hasn't gotten the attention it deserves, despite being a hidden gem of Kálmán's wonderful oeuvre, and a story with great relevance even today.

The story concerns Mary, the spoiled daughter of an American millionaire, who makes a bet with her friend, the similarly wealthy Edith Rockefeller about which one of them can buy the most extraordinary thing during their European trip, which one of them can buy something that money can't buy. The bet is for one million dollars. During the trip, Mary runs into Boris, the handsome throne prince of Sylvaria, a tiny imaginary country in Eastern Europe, and with their turbulent meeting, a clash of worldview begins. The rich American girl buys and redecorates the royal palace of the hopelessly indebted Sylvaria, but she secretly wants Boris' love, while Boris is trying to hold on to his self-respect and cultural traditions against the tide of American influence.

Charleston or czardas, money or monarchy, American lifestyle or European tradition - these are the driving questions of the play, which of course are expressed in the musical score as well. With a jazz band and a folk ensemble on the stage, we can hear classical operetta melodies as well as traditional gipsy music and American-style jazz.

The show is displayed with English language surtitles.


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