Leichte Kavallerie (Light Cavalry), a comic operetta in two acts, with a text by C. Costa, was first staged at the Carltheater on 21st March 1866. The overture opens with a fanfare, echoed, before launching into the familiar music of sparkle and brilliance. It is here followed by the overture to Tricoche und Cacolet, a humorous treatment of life in Paris in three scenes, based on the work of Meilhac and Halevy in aversion by Treumann. It was first performed at the Carltheater on 3rd January 1873. Its pastoral opening over a drone is soon replaced by the inevitable Viennese turn of musical phrase, after a brief fugal passage.
The operetta Boccaccio oder der Prinz von Palermo, with a text by the successful partnership of Zell and Genee, was first staged at the Carltheater on 1st February 1879. The three-act operetta was described by suppe as the greatest success of his life. Zell was the pseudonym of Camillo Walzel, who had spent seventeen years as a captain with the Danube steamship Company, after a varied earlier career. He was artistic director from 1884 to 1889 at the Theater an der Wien, where Richard Genee was conductor from 1868 to 1878. Zell, Genee and Suppe died within a few weeks of each other in 1895. The plot of the operetta concerns the poet Boccaccio and his attempts, in various disguises, to woo the natural daughter of the Duke of Tuscany, Fiametta, whom, in spite of his scandalous reputation in Florence, he eventually marries. The March is heard in Ac t III and appears again to bring the whole piece to a memorable conclusion.
The Titania Waltz might seem to lack something of the delicacy of the fairy- queen, but is characteristic of Viennese operetta rather than of remoter regions of mysterious enchantment. Fatinitza, another Zell and Genee collaboration, is an operetta in three acts, based on La circasienne of Eugene Scribe, set by Auber. Set in the Crimean War, it deals with the mistakes that occur when Lieutenant Vladimir adopts female disguise, captivating the General Kantschukoff and later finding himself imprisoned in a Turkish harem. Using a libretto rejected by Johann Strauss, it was first staged at the Carltheater on 5th January 1876.
The Humoristische Variationen on the popular folk-song Was kommt dort von der Hoh’? open with a dramatic introduction. Brief wind recitatives punctuated by full orchestral chords lead to a popular tune that must remind English listeners of The Grand Old Duke of York and variations giving scope for the piccolo and other wind instruments before the strings take their lugubrious turn. The march later turns into a waltz, bringing the variations to an end.
Die Heimkehr von der Hochzeit (Homecoming from the Wedding) has an overture that starts with agentie flute cadenza before turning to material of more obvious celebration. A carnival Posse, with a text by Feldmann, it was first staged at the Theater an der Wien on 8th January 1853. It is here followed by a polka from the romantic Herzenseintracht (Harmony of Hearts).