The Great Waltz (Revised)


The story of THE GREAT WALTZ is loosely based on the real-life feud between the composer Johann Strauss Sr. and his son, Johann Strauss Jr., allegedly because of the father’s jealousy of his son’s greater talent. The operetta is set to the music of the two composers.

Photo by Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • Set in Vienna in the spring-time, featuring a conflict between a father (Johann Strauss, Sr.) and his son (Johann Strauss, Jr.), laced with overtures of romance; and through it all a score comprising some of the most loved waltzes ever written by the father and son on whose lives the plot is based, and who are truly regarded as the greatest waltz composers of all time. Among a host of tunes, this show contains both “The Radetzky March” and, of course, “The Blue Danube”.

  • Music by Johann Strauss Sr. and Jr., adapted by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
    Lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest
    Additional lyrics by Forman Brown
    Book by Jerome Chodorow from the original by Moss Hart and Milton Lazarus

  • Instrumentation: 22 Parts

    2 Violin I
    1 Violin II
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass
    1 Flute I & Piccolo
    1 Flute II & Piccolo
    1 Oboe
    1 Clarinet I
    1 Clarinet II
    1 Bassoon
    1 Horn I
    1 Horn II
    1 Trumpet I (Bb & C)
    1 Trumpet II (Bb)
    1 Trombone I
    1 Trombone II
    1 Percussion
    Timpani (3 Drums)
    Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
    Wood Block
    Bass Drum
    Cymbals: Suspended (2 sizes)
    Tam Tam
    Bell Tree
    Cow Bell (optional)
    Glockenspiel (Soft and Hard Mallets)
    1 Harp
    1 Piano-Celeste (2 volumes)
    1 Accordion

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book for Director
    13     Prompt Books for Cast
    30     Chorus-Vocal Parts
    4       Conductor’s Scores for Principal Characters

  • (In Order of Appearance)

    Organ Grinder - Chorus
    First Composer - Chorus
    Second Composer - Chorus
    Third Composer - Chorus
    Fourth Composer - Chorus
    Helene Vernet
    Captain Elliot
    Johann Strauss, Jr. (Schani)
    Johann Strauss, Sr.
    Clerk - Chorus
    Fritz - Dancer
    Ernst - Chorus
    Ling Ching
    Doorman - Chorus
    Frau Haberwatzel - Chorus
    Countess von Lugenstein - Chorus

  • THE GREAT WALTZ (Revised) opened in 1949 at the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera with Strauss’ music and new English-language lyrics adapted by Robert Wright and George Forrest. This version was used for a London revival that opened at the Drury Lane Theatre on July 9, 1970 and ran for 605 performances.

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