Chonita: A Gypsy Romance

I sort of stalled out while archiving my father’s music because he started rolling his eyes and ran out of stories.  There’s a phase where much of his music was for music festivals and his response for the last piece of that variety was, “What do you want me to say about this piece?”  So…I’ve taken a different approach and selected the music from one of the musicals he performed in, Chonita: A Gypsy Romance (An Operetta with Music Based Upon Themes of Franz Liszt)

Dad played the part of Stefan.  I know, based on operetta notes that Dad would have sung Star of Love while stepping toward Chonita. I have found a summary of the operetta posted by Tammy Howl on the occasion of a May Day celebration.


My father gave introductions for the night or the thank yous at the end because I find his notes at the back of the music.

I’ve archived his notes throughout the operetta.

As I researched the piece, I’d have to say that it was performed everywhere between 1935 and 1947, as a High School Operetta.  There are many cast lists for the play published in local newspapers and on E-Yearbooks across the internet.  I only wish I could find a piece on Youtube, but no such luck.

Maybe my father will be able to share some personal narratives about this one.

Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 011 Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 001Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 002Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 003Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 004Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 005Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 006Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 007Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 008Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 009Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 010Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 012Kath's Canon July 14, 2015 Chonita 013Dad’s performances of Chonita toured Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Regina, the Quappelle Valley and Prince Albert in 1949.

9 thoughts on “Chonita: A Gypsy Romance

  1. Hello. I found your post when I was researching the operetta after finding it in a box of music belonging to my great aunt. I’ve been working on the music for a few months; and today, I recorded myself playing and singing “Star of Love”. You had mentioned that you couldn’t find a recording of it, so I thought I would share it with you. The melody is an octave higher than written because I am a soprano, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

  2. Oh Rachel I cannot express to you the feelings you brought out in this old 85 year old man who played Stephan and sang that song so many years ago while attending Moose Jaw Technical High School. You played and sang it so beautifully I was carried right back on the stage. Surprisingly I knew the whole first vs. to sing along with you through my tears. Now Kath must send me all the words. Thank you Thank You for your beautiful rendition.I just loved it.

    • Oh…Dad…I didn’t realize that I didn’t include the music for this one. I’ll photograph them this weekend and post here. Love you…and thanks, Rachel.

    • Here it is 28 Nov 2018and I have just listened to your solo as I read the blog. I can only reiterate how wonderful an experience it was for me .Thank you; Thank you>
      I shall treasure this all my days !!!

  3. I was named after this operetta which my father learned in high school. He changed the spelling so kids wouldn’t tease me. I earned my Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. There’s power in a name.

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