Act One - A Salon in the Pontevedrian Embassy
Baron Zeta is holding grand festivities to mark the birthday of the Prince of Pontevedro, in raucous choruses (‘Verehrteste Damen und Herren’), covering up his concerns about the country’s recent bankruptcy. While the Baron is distracted, Camille takes the opportunity to confess his love to the Baron’s wife, Valencienne, by writing those three little words on her fan. Valencienne finds a moment alone with Camille to present him with an idea that could save their reputation (Duet ‘So kommen Sie’). She thinks that Camille should get married, but he will not listen to the idea: he is completely in love with her.
The arrival of Hanna Glawari, a recently widowed multi-millionairess, takes the evening’s events to a new height. She is followed by a troop of Parisian admirers, all wanting a share in her hand and her fortune (‘Bitte, meine Herren’). As a Pontevedrian, Hanna is guest of honor at the festivities, and the Baron has plans to marry
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