Michael Krasznay-Krausz

Eine Frau von Format

Sun /
may 25
Opernhaus / 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. / Premiere


The Principality of Silistria is highly coveted. Two European countries are vying for a trade agreement: Hungary and Turkey. But Silistria only wants to choose one partner. While the Hungarian ambassador Count Géza von Tököli is already courting the favour of the Silistrian Princess Petra, everyone is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Turkish ambassador. The latter’s appearance ultimately exceeds all expectations because, as it turns out, Turkey’s diplomat is a woman: Dschilli Bey! Gender clichés and cultural prejudices are now turned upside down and thoroughly shaken up. A competitive struggle full of intrigue, mistaken identities and surprising twists and turns ensues. Who comes out on top? See for yourself!
With “Eine Frau von Format”, Michael Krasznay-Krausz achieved a smash hit at the Theater des Westens in Berlin in 1927. The leading female role was played by none other than the queen of operetta, Fritzi Massary. Not long afterwards, the work was lost in the turmoil between the seizure of power and the Second World War and is now returning to the stage at Oper Köln.
The now equally forgotten Jewish composer Michael Krasznay-Krausz was born in 1897 in Austria-Hungary and lived in Budapest, Vienna and Berlin. As a pupil of Zoltán Kodály, he initially composed symphonic music and operas before turning to the genre of operetta from 1923 and also composing numerous popular songs. When the Nazis seized power in 1933, he left Berlin and finally Vienna in 1938 after the annexation of Austria and moved back to Budapest, where he died in 1940.
The director and three-time winner of the coveted BR-Operettenfrosch, Christian von Götz, is already a recognised expert when it comes to unearthing operettas by once ostracised composers. He recently brought Ralph Benatzky’s “Der reichste Mann der Welt” and Hugo Hirsch’s “Der Fürst von Pappenheim” to the stage at the Erzgebirgisches Theater Annaberg to great acclaim. He has also worked as a director at the Hamburg State Opera, the Komische Oper Berlin and the Oper Leipzig. Now he is staging the rediscovery of the operetta “Eine Frau von Format” at Oper Köln as a wildly playful and gender-fluid show spectacle. With the operetta specialist Adam Benzwi on the podium, a congenial partner has been found who brings the melodic richness of this Berlin operetta to life with the fashionable dances so typical of the Golden Twenties. Thus, alongside the classic waltz step, snappy foxtrot and Boston, tango and flamenco rhythms can also be heard. Look forward to an evening full of catchy tunes, high tempo, raunchiness, diversity and glamour!


Musikalische Leitung Adam Benzwi / Musikalisches Arrangement Daniel Busch / Inszenierung Christian von Götz / Bühne Dieter Richter / Kostüme Sarah Mittenbühler / Choreographie Federico Zeno Bassanese / Licht Andreas Grüter / Chorleitung Rustam Samedov / Dramaturgie Svenja Gottsmann /

Dschilli Bey
Géza, Graf von Tököli
Petra, Fürstin von Silistrien
Negruzzi, Kanzler
Baronin Manulescu
Baron Pista, sein Leibhusar
Generalkonsul Zuntz
Lya, seine Tochter
Kapitän Penesch

Further performances