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Music by Frank Wildhorn
Lyrics by Jack Murphy
Book by Jack Murphy and Phoebe Hwang
Additional Lyrics by Nan Knighton

About the Show

Rudolf 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."

Latest News

The Korean production of Rudolf will be returning to Seoul for the third time, under the title of The Last Kiss. The show will be presented by EMK Musical Company at LG Arts, opening on 14 December 2017 and running through 11 March 2018. Stephanie. The staging is directed by Robert Johanson. Auditions are being held now and further information will be provided as soon as it is available. View the audition notice and poster for more information.

Past Productions

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 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. 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.

The show has 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 English). Merchandise from the show is still available.

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).

The Korean premiere of Rudolf was 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. The production returned to Seoul from 11 October 2014 to 4 January 2015. The cast was led by Ahn Jaewook, Im Taekyung and Tim as Rudolf; Choi Hyunju, Kim Bokyung and An Siha as Mary Vetsera; Choi Minchul and Kim Seongmin as Taaffe; Park Cheolho and Kim Dukhwan as Franz Joseph; Kil Songwon and Lee Eunyul as Marie Larisch; and Jun Sumi as Stephanie. More information is available on the Korean production website.

The Polish group Studio Accantus presented a concert version of the show in Warsaw, with a performance on 21 September 2014 at Bemowskim Cultural Center. The cast was led by Sylwia Banasik, Zuzanna Gierczycka, Kuba Jurzyk, Natalia Piotrowska, Sylwia Przetak and Adrian Wiśniewski. More details are available on the group's Afera Mayerling page. Previous performances took place in December 2013, April 2014 and June 2014. You can view excerpts from the concert and performances of Pretty Little War (by Agnieszka Niemiec and Gabriela Oberbek) and Only Love (by Sylwia Banasik). The concerts were directed by Bartlomiej Kozielski, with Polish lyrics by Dorota Kozielska.


A complete cast recording of the Vienna production has been released. This 2-CD set includes a booklet with a photo gallery from the production, and is available from VBW, Amazon.de and Sound of Music.

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).

Rudolf DVD A complete DVD recording of the Vienna production is also 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 150 minutes. The DVD includes a printed synopsis of the show, in both German and English; it does not have English subtitles. The disc is regionless, but in PAL format. The DVD is currently available from VBW, Sound of Music or Amazon.de.

A highlights cast recording from the Vienna production was released on 7 April 2009, and is available for purchase from VBW, Sound of Music, Amazon.com, Amazon.de and Dress Circle. 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 Vienna highlights cast recording, with the exception of the Prologue. It is available from VBW, Sound of Music, Amazon.com and Amazon.de.

A highlights recording is now available from the original Korean production of Rudolf. Oak Joo-hyun as Mary and Im Tae-kyung as Rudolf perform ten selections from the show, in Korean. These include "Only Love", "An Ordinary Man", "I Was Born To Love You" and "The Steps of Tomorrow". You can also see Oak Joo-hyun perform "Only Love" in this video. The recording comes with a seventy page booklet which includes photos. It is avalable from Sound of Music and YesAsia. A Japanese-language version of the recording (with the same singers and song selections) is also available from YesAsia.

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.

© 2006, All rights reserved.

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.

Related Items

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 upcoming plans.

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.

More information can be found at Frank Wildhorn's website.

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