Music by Frank Wildhorn
Lyrics by Jack Murphy
Book by Jack Murphy and Phoebe Hwang
Additional Lyrics by Nan Knighton
About the Show
Rudolf tells the tragic story of Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf and Mary Vetsera, who were found dead
in a hunting lodge in Mayerling, near Vienna. The show is loosely based on Frederic Morton's book, A
Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889.
The show began life under the title of Vienna, and was the first project that Nan and Frank
Wildhorn worked on together. Nan then stepped aside to allow Jack Murphy to continue the development of the
show while she worked on Camille Claudel. Many of Nan's original ideas and plotlines are still
present in the show. Songs with her lyrics include "Only Love", "Pretty Little War", "New Boy in Town" and
parts of "Viennese Specialties."
Rudolf had two Asian productions this past year. TOHO Stage Co. presented the second
Japanese run of the show at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo, 5-29 July 2012. Further details are listed below.
The show also had its Korean premiere, presented by EMK Musical Company at Chungmu Art Hall in Seoul,
from 10 November 2012 through 27 January 2013. This staging was directed by Robert Johanson. The cast included
Ahn Jae-wook, Im Tae-kyung and Park Eun-tae alternating as Rudolf,
Oak Joo-hyun, Choi Yu-ha and Kim Bo-kyung as Mary Vetsera,
Min Young-ki and Jo Hwee as Taaffe,
Park Chul-ho and Ryu Chang-woo as Franz Joseph,
Shin Young-sook and Han Ji-yeon as Marie Larisch and
Oh Jin-young as Stephanie.
This press rehearsal video includes clips from
"Pretty Little War", "Tra-La-La", "Master of the Strings" and "Only Love".
More information is available on the Korean production website.
Rudolf had its world premiere at the Operett Színház in Budapest,
Hungary on 26 May 2006, and its open-air premiere in Szeged, Hungary on 28 July 2006. The show is a
co-production by Vereinigte Bühnen Wien, the Budapest Operetta Theater and the Szeged Open-Air Festival.
The show played for two seasons in Vienna, Austria.
Vereinigte Bühnen Wien presented the German-language
premiere of the show at the Raimund Theater, where it officially opened on 26 February 2009, running until 4
July. The second season ran from 10 September 2009 through 24 January 2010.
The Viennese cast was led by Drew Sarich as Rudolf, Lisa Antoni as Mary Vetsera, Uwe Kröger as
Taaffe, Claus Dam as Franz Joseph, Carin Filipcic as Marie Larisch and Wietske von Tongeren as Stephanie.
The production was directed by David Leveaux, with choreography by John O'Connell and music direction by
Caspar Richter. The German translation was provided by Julia Sengstshmid (script) and Nina Jäger
(lyrics). More information is available on the
VBW website (in German and
Merchandise from the show is still
The show first opened at Operett Színház in Budapest, Hungary on 26 May 2006. It ran
through 3 June 2006 and has since played two summers in Szeged, Hungary, and three full seasons in Budapest.
Additional performances are possible, and will be posted as they are announced.
The cast for this production was led by Attila Dolhai (Rudolf), Bernadett Vágó (Mary Vetsera),
Kata Janza (Countess Larisch), Attila Németh (Franz Joseph), Tamás Földes (Taaffe),
Veronika Nádasi (Stephanie) and Zoltán Bereczki (Pfeiffer, the puppeteer).
The show was directed by Kero® (Miklós Gábor Kerényi), with musical direction by
Koen Schoots and choreography by Michael Reardon, Éva Duda, Jenõ Lõcsei and
László Rogács. The script translation was by Gergely Zöldi, with lyric
translations by Gergely Zöldi, Szilárd Somogyi and Miklós Gábor Kerényi.
The show was performed in Hungarian, with English subtitles. More information is
available on the Operett Színház
Website (site in Hungarian). Information and photos from the runs in Szeged can be found on the
Szeged Open-Air Festival Website.
Toho Musical & Play presented the Japanese Premiere of Rudolf in Tokyo from 6 May
through 1 June 2008.
The cast for this production included Yoshio Inoue as Rudolf, Rena Sasamoto as Mary Vetsera, Rina Chinen
as Princess Stephanie, Tatsuki Kohju as Countess Larisch, Haruhiko Jo as Franz Joseph, Kenji Urai as Johann
Pfeiffer, Hiroshi Hatanaka as Szeps, Yuji Kishi as Kaiser Wilhelm, Shinya Niro as Edward (Prince of Wales)
and Kojiro Oka as Taaffe.
The show returned to Japan in July 2012, presented at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo.
Yoshio Inoue returned to the title role, and was joined by Kazune Miou as Marie Vetsera, Kenji
Sakamoto as Taaffe, Rie Yoshizawa as Stephanie, Ichiro Maki as Larisch and Kunio Murai as Franz Josef. This
staging was based on the version seen in Vienna, and was directed by David Leveaux (who helmed that production in 2009).
A complete cast recording of the show has been released.
This 2-CD set includes a booklet with a photo gallery from the production, and is available from
Sound of Music and
The song list for the complete cast recording (as well as the DVD, below) includes: Vorgang auf (Curtain
Up); Wie jeder andere Mann Prolog (An Ordinary Man Prologue); Du willst nicht hören (The Men Who We've
Become); Ein Hübscher Krieg (Pretty Little War); Marys Lied (Mary's Theme); Der Ball (The Ball); So viel
mehr (Something More); Die Strahlende zukunft (Blue Skies); Zeit zu Handeln (Finish What You've Started);
Wohin führt mein Weg? (How Will I Know?); Tralala (The Tra-La-La Ice Skating Song); In dem moment als
ich dich sah (The Moment I Saw You); Vertrau in uns (Only Love); Die Fäden in der Hand (The Master Of
The Strings); Du bleibst bei mir! (It Will Be Me!); Wie jeder andere Mann (An Ordinary Man); Mein süsser
Held (New Boy In Town); Mut zur tat (Measure Of A Man); Der Weg in die Zukunft (The Steps Of Tomorrow); Die
Liebe lenkt (Only Heroes Dare); Wenn das Schicksal dich ereilt (The Writing's On The Wall); So viel mehr
Reprise (Something More Reprise); Zeit zu Handeln Reprise (Finish What You've Started Reprise); Du bist meine
Welt (I Was Born To Love You) and Nur Liebe zählt Reprise (Only Love Reprise).
A complete DVD recording of the Vienna production of Rudolf - Affaire Mayerling is now
available. The video, produced by MG-Sound and MWB, includes the full show recorded by a six camera crew,
live from the stage of the Raimund Theater. The DVD has stereo and 5.1 surround sound audio, and runs about
Note: the initial release of the DVD was delayed due to technical issues. As previously planned, the
initial release does not have English subtitles. It does include a printed synopsis of the show, in
both German and English. The disc is regionless, but in PAL format. It is hoped that a second edition will
follow soon, with subtitles, but this is not guaranteed to happen. Further information will be posted here as
it becomes available.
The DVD is currently available from VBW,
Sound of Music or
A cast recording from the Viennese production was released on 7 April 2009, and is available for
purchase from VBW,
Sound of Music,
Dress Circle and
The track list includes: Prolog/Wie jeder andre Mann (Prologue/An Ordinary Man), Du willst nicht hören
(You Never Listen), Ein hübscher Krieg (Pretty Little War), Marys Lied (Mary's Theme), So viel mehr
(Something More), Wohin führt mein Weg? (How Will I Know?), Vertrau in uns (Only Love), Die Fäden
in der Hand (The Master Of The Strings), Du bleibst bei mir! (It Will Be Me!), Wie jeder andre Mann (An
Ordinary Man), Mut zur Tat (Measure Of A Man), Der Weg in die Zukunft (The Steps Of Tomorrow), Die Liebe
lenkt (Only Heroes Dare), Wenn das Schicksal dich ereilt (The Writing's On The Wall), Kann ich einfach gehn?
(Can I Say Goodbye?), Ich schütze den Staat (Maintain The State) and Du bist meine Welt (I Was Born To
Love You / Only Love Reprise).
A karaoke/sing-along CD for the show, with orchestral tracks recorded by the Orchestra of Vereinigte
Bühnen Wien, is also available. It contains the same songs as the first cast recording, with the
exception of the Prologue. It is available from
Sound of Music,
Three songs from the show were released on the Hungarian musical theater sampler CD,
"Mindhalálig Musical". These include Csak Szerelem (Only Love), performed by Kata
Janza; Érted Születtem (I Was Born For You), performed by Kata Janza and Attila
Dolhai; and A Holnap Hídja (Steps Of Tomorrow) performed by some of the biggest stars
in the country. The CD is available from
Sound Of Music.
Several songs from the show are available on Kata Janza's
website. They include Csuda csinos ez a harc (Pretty Little War), Kétség és
ábránd (Fear and Desire), Csakis az lesz hos (Only Heroes Dare) and Csak szerelem (Only
We are pleased to present English-language demo tracks for three of Nan's songs from Rudolf:
"Pretty Little War", "New Boy in Town" sung by Kate Shindle, and "Only Love" sung by Brandi Burkhardt. The
demo tracks were produced by Jeremy Roberts and Frank Wildhorn.
More information can be found at
Frank Wildhorn's website.
19 July 2006 - Letter From Nan
Nan mentions the production of the show in Budapest, Hungary.
17 November 2004 - Letter From Nan
Nan gives an update on the show, including her involvement and
1 July 2004 - Question & Answer
Nan discusses her involvement with the musical
Vienna, including a surprise for Pimpernel fans!
18 September 2003 - Interview with The Voice
Nan discusses how she and Frank started
working on Vienna.