Libretto for Johann Strauss II’s Der lustige Krieg (The Merry War); New York Imprint.

Libretto likely for the First U.S. performance in German given in New York in 1882

Scarce libretto printed in New York City for Johann Strauss II’s operetta Der lustige Krieg (The Merry War). The libretto was likely printed for its first U.S. performance on March 15, 1882.

The music for the operetta was composed by Johann Strauss II (1825–1899), son of the Austrian Romantic composer and waltz popularizer, Johann Strauss I (1804–1849). The lyrics presented here were written by Camillo Walzel (under the pseudonym “F. Zell”) and Richard Genée.

Der lustige Krieg, first performed in Vienna in 1881, does not concern a military conflict—titled in English, “The Merry War,” but rather refers to the tale of two Italian noblemen both engaged to the same ballerina. Strauss II’s popular waltz, Kuss-Walzer (“Kiss Waltz”) was based on the aria “Nur für Natur” in the operetta’s second act.

The operetta’s New York performance, as described within, took place at the Thalia Theater under the direction of Amberg & Herrmann with Heinrich Conried as artistic director.

Description: Libretto for Johann Strauss II’s Der lustige Krieg (The Merry War); New York Imprint.

Gesangs-Text zu Der lustige Krieg. Operette in 3 Akten von F. Zell und Richard Genee. Musik von Johann Strauss. Eigenthum des Thalia-Theaters. New York: Druck von H. Bartsch, 54 Beekman Str. [c.1882]. 46, [2 (blank)]pp. 7 x 4½ inches. Pink wrappers; stitched. Printed in German. Ownership name on title page “Koehl.” Some wear, creasing, and a closed tear to wrappers; dog-eared; good.


Ref. Operas in German: A Dictionary - Margaret Ross Griffel - Google Books accessed online; see pp303–304. OCLC: Cornell, NYPL, Harvard, UPenn.

Price: $150.00