Paul Abraham

Fairytale at the Grand Hotel

Coemdy operetta in two acts [1934] | Concert-based
It’s curtains up for a new round of unexpected discoveries in the treasure-trove of the operetta format: Fairytale at the Grand Hotel by Paul Abraham, composer of the jazz operetta Ball at the Savoy. The necessary oomph in the orchestral pit will be provided by the Abraham specialist Adam Benzwi. As Albert the waiter, multi-talented Max Hopp guides us through the evening – he has been a favourite among operetta fans ever since his brilliant performance in A woman who knows what she wants!

Hotels are places where all manner of people encounter one another. And the same is true of the Grand-Hotel Palace in Cannes: this is where the Spanish infanta Isabella, who has been driven out of her own country, and her retinue – which includes her fiancé, Prince Andreas – have settled. Marylou, the daughter of the film producer Sam Makintosh, has come to the Côte d’Azur in search of fresh subjects for films featuring genuine members of the European nobility. The clumsy waiter Albert attends to the needs of these and other guests – but above all to those of the infanta, with whom he is head over heels in love. A waiter is hardly a worthy suitor to a Spanish infanta, even when it eventually turns out that Albert is in truth the son of the noble hotel-owner Chamoix. Yet to Marylou, Albert’s unrequited love is the perfect subject for a new film – to which she happily contributes an affair with Prince Andreas ...
As with his Ball at the Savoy, Abraham’s brilliantly orchestrated score for Fairytale at the Grand-Hotel provides a colourful blend of waltz, tango, jazz and Hungarian influences. The operetta, which premièred in Vienna in 1934, is a delightful mix of Hollywood, aristocracy and hotel ambience, and joyfully plays on the clichés of the genre. Clivia meets The Merry Widow at The White Horse Inn!
With a prelude and epilogue [1934] based on the work of Alfred Savoir
Libretto by Alfred Grünwald and Fritz Löhner-Beda


Musical direction


The Infanta Isabella
Prince Andreas Stephan
President Chamoix, owner of the Grand-Hotel Palace
Albert, room waiter
Sam Makintosh, a film magnate from »Universal Star Picture Ltd.«
Marylou, his daughter