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Vilia" Presentation

Introduction
- This is Vilia from the German operetta, The Merry Widow, from 1905, written by Franz
Lehr
- I chose this song because a lot of classical, legit musicals have a lot of songs that
sound pretty and fluffy; therefore, they arent expected to have the level of depth that
they have. Of course there is a reason behind every song, and just because this song is
being sung at a ball for an audience, it doesnt necessarily have one purpose: to
entertain; but it is deceivingly has extra layers, which I will prove today.

** sing **

Back story
- Hanna, a widow, sings this at a ball.
- She is a famous opera singer, so the audience wants her to sing
- She is left with many riches and fame after her husbands death, however, she wasnt
always like this. Long ago, when she was with Danilo, who is in the crowd, he dumped
her because she was a nobody, while he was the one with the money.
- This leaves Hanna vengeful, so she uses this opportunity to walk all over Danilo and
make him uncomfortable, while giving the audience what they want.
- The story is about a huntsman falling in love with the Vilia- it seems like a fairytale, but
its actually the love story between Danilo and Hanna, at least how Hanna decides to put
it.

Verse
- The song begins with the introduction of flutes, piccalos, and violins in a high register in
order to introduce this fairy tale to the audience, gather them, and introduce the loving
mood in this fairy tale.
- Wood maiden fair and Huntsman
- hit a high E - highlights the wonder that the huntsman has for the Vilias pure beauty.
Describes herself as fair, not being modest.
- Accentuated so that Hanna can get Danilos attention - these two characters are
them.
- Dark forest lair
- where the music becomes low pitched, giving a dark, mysterious tone.
- This emphasises how deceptive the Vilia was in luring the huntsman, simultaneously
poking fun at how quickly Danilo fell in love with Hanna. She really wants to dwell on
how she has a power over him, literally with the money, but also because he is still in
love, and she wants to take him back to that time.
- It is also making the audience very engaged with this fairy tale, and be intrigued
meanwhile.
- Enchanted, he gazed
- Higher pitched and marked ritardando so that she can linger on this thought and
emphasise how infatuated he is with her
- syncopation: the off beat mimics the confusion the huntsman has because he is so
obsessed that he cant think.
Pre chorus
- then with unexpected feeling, passion he could not deny
- eighth notes: mimic unexpected flush of emotions that he got the first time he saw her,
she is his one true love - no matter how rich or poor, she wants to make him regret
dropping her
- feeling is lingered on - highlights passion not only love but also double entendre as a
sexual love and passion. she is being cheeky here by teasing him and infuriating him
by making this painful for him.
- softly longingly he begins to sigh after her
- ritardando
- placed on high F sharp and E
- dwells on Danilos obsession and how he is beneath her. She wants him to feel how
that is.
- The flute is also responding to the text, as an echo almost - highlights Hannas
influence on him and how it will never disappear, it will always chase him.

Chorus
- Repetition and instrumental of strings and woodwind instruments - drag out the song
she takes this opportunity to terrorise him.
- Plucking of double bass introduces a bittersweet mood- despite his love for her, he cant
have her. For superficial reasons, she wants him to feel that sadness.
- Hanna imitates huntsman/Danilo in a SIGH: vilia oh, vilia, your magical fire captures,
enraptures my yearning desires
- diction is telling - he is so in love that he describes her as magical, fiery, and so
engaging that she has captured him.
- his desires are yearning - again with the sexual connotation to make Danilo
uncomfortable.
- vilia, oh vilia, will love tell me why, in your embraces i die
- it is a sigh
- it is a long, dragged out phrase
- ends with i die - so dramatic
- symbolic for how she took his breath away- Hanna mimics this sensation of being out
of breath, showing how real this feeling is, he is going to die because he is gasping
for air.
End
- He manages (somehow) to hit a high B in VILIA WILL LOVE TELL ME WHY and IN
YOUR EMBRACES I DIE
- high
- long phrase
- DIE/WHY have piercing sounds
- sounds of CRYING - his is so desperate for her that he is out of breath and dying
so powerful
- he is also ASKING a rhetorical question to LOVE, an abstract thing that will never
respond - thus showing how desperate he is to get an explanationn to why he is so in
love. WHY? because Hanna is such a catch.
- leaves the song on a bittersweet note.
- This is Hannas way of confronting Danilo for what he did to her- he broke her heart and
she wants to make sure that he knows that, before she can open her heart to him again.