Der Zigeunerprimas

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Der Zigeunerprimas (The Gypsy Band Leader, known as Sari and The Gypsy Virtuoso in English speaking countries) is a three-act operetta, which was composed by Emmerich Kálmán. The libretto was written by Julius Wilhelm [de] and Fritz Grünbaum. It premiered in Vienna, at the Johann Strauss Theatre, on 11 October 1912.

In 1929 it was adapted into a German silent film The Gypsy Chief directed by Carl Wilhelm.


Poster for Sari, the 1914 Broadway adaptation of Der Zigeunerprimas presented by Henry W. Savage
Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 11 October 1912
(Conductor: - )
Pali Rácz, a Gypsy violinist and orchestra leader tenor Alexander Girardi[1]
Laczi, Pali's son tenor Willy Strehl
Sári, Pali's daughter soprano Grete Holm
Juliska Racz, Pali's niece soprano
Gaston, Count Irini baritone Max Brod
King Heribert VII, disguised as Count Estragon baritone Josef Victora


Pali Rácz, a thrice-widowed Gypsy violinist, is adored by women and hailed widely as a virtuoso. His daughter Sari cares for their large family. His young son Laczi is also a violinist, but has chosen to forsake his father's playing style and study classical violin at the Academy of Music. Pali wants to marry his niece, Juliska, as a companion in his old age, but she prefers his son, Laczi, and Laczi, in turn, loves her. Pali criticizes Laczi's musical talent so much, and Laczi yearns so for Juliska, that he leaves home. Reunited in Paris, father and son reconcile after Countess Irini, an old admirer, convinces Pali not to interfere with the course of Laczi and Juliska's relationship. Irini's grandson marries Sari.


  • Metternich, Katona, Jurgens, Losch, Daue, Hofmann – WDR – Marszalek – 1949 or 1960’s (0103)
  • Thompson, Meacham, Lengfelder – Ohio Light Opera – McMahon – 2001 (0098).
  • Rossmanith, Lienbacher, Saccá, Bankl-Flor-CPO 058-2-2003

Radio adaptation

Sari was presented on The Railroad Hour on 17 March 1952. Baritone Gordon MacRae and soprano Margaret Truman starred in the episode, which also featured Carmen Dragon's orchestra and Norman Luboff's chorus.[2]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Premiere cast from Casaglia (2005)
  2. ^ Kirby, Walter (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via open access


  • Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). 11 ottobre 1912". Almanacco Amadeus. Accessed 27 March 2011 (in Italian).
  • Myers, Eric (2002). "Kalman: Der Zigeunerprimas. Opera News, October 2002 (subscription required)

External links

  • Detailed synopsis and list of musical numbers for Der Zigeunerprimas at
  • Sari at the Internet Broadway Database
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