A to Z Challenge: Elisabeth the Musical

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Today is my 700th post!!! Hope you enjoy as I share an international musical that keeps me coming back time and time again…

Elisabeth the Musical

A Viennese, German-language musical with book/lyrics by Michael Kunze and music by Sylvester Levay, it portrays the life and death of Empress Elisabeth (“Sisi”) of Austria, wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I.

It has been translated into SEVEN languages and seen by over TEN million spectators worldwide, making it the most successful German-language musical of all time.


The musical creates a love triangle between Elisabeth, Franz Joseph and Death with Luigi Lucheni, Elisabeth’s assassin, serving as the narrator.

Favorite Musical Numbers

  • Mama, wo bist du? (Young Rudolf/Death)
  • Die Schatten Werden Länger (Rudolf/Death)
  • Wenn Ich Tanzen Will (Death/Elisabeth)

As a fan of Rudolf Affair Mayerling, I especially love the small role Rudolf plays in Elisabeth and his songs are heartbreaking and gorgeous.


  • There has been no English version thus far. (I have had to rely on translations on YouTube and the internet to decipher the lyrics.)
  • Sissi’s famous Franz Xaver Winterhalter portrait was the inspiration for Christine’s Think of Me dress and hair in the 2004 The Phantom of the Opera film.
  • Sissi’s murder in 1891 by an Italian anarchist called Luigi Lucheni is believed to be one of the key moments that led to the start of the Great War.
  • In the 1950s a romanticized trilogy of films starring Romy Schneider were produced in Germany.
  • The musical was commissioned as a more realistic depiction in response to the 1950s films.

Dream Broadway and West End Cast

I highly doubt that an English version of Elisabeth will be produced any time soon especially because the story of Elisabeth is not well known in American and British circles. But it was a big hit in Japan so why wouldn’t it work in the States or the UK? If it were to happen my dream cast would be:

Elisabeth – Christy Altomare.
Death – Adam Lambert.
Franz Joseph – Ramin Karimloo.
Luigi – Aaron Lazar.
Rudolf (can’t think of anyone age appropriate yet…)

E is for Elisabeth the Viennese Musical #atozchallenge

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  1. Nilanjana Bose

    April 5, 2019 at 7:51 am

    I love the grandeur of musicals. Enjoyed the clips very much.


  2. M.C.V. EGAN

    April 5, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    The videos are very entertaining. Yet another I did not know!

  3. Anne Young

    April 5, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Congratulations on your 700th blog post.

    I didn't know of the musical but have seen some of the 1950s films starring Romy Schneider (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sissi_(film) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4zV81VvWRI )

    following along from A to Z

    1. The Joyous Living

      April 17, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      right? not often is Death the narrator. would make a great narrator for one of your fairy tales 🙂

  4. Arlee Bird

    April 6, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    The music sounds good so an English version might not be a bad idea. I've enjoyed musical theater for a long time. I've developed a particularly focused interest in the past couple years.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  5. Surekha

    March 26, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    I’ve always loved musicals. They have such a beautiful way of making even the most mundane things feel so majestic.

    1. thejoyousliving

      March 26, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      right?? i wish this show was translated to english but it is so beautiful in all the languages it’s been translated in.

  6. Matt Taylor

    March 26, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Congratulations on your 700th post!! I haven’t heard of this musical before, sounds like a good one!

    1. thejoyousliving

      March 26, 2020 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks Matt. It is a great German language musical that’s been translated into European and Asian languages but sadly not English. If you’re a history buff or theatre fan you’ll definitely enjoy this musical.

  7. Nicole Anderson | Camping for Women

    March 26, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    Having enjoyed so many musicals in the past, I must admit I hadn’t heard of Elisabeth before. It does sound very interesting and perhaps it might be adapted to English one day. Given how popular it has proven so far, you would think that this might eventually happen. Also well done on 700 posts for the arts!

  8. Shahrom Martijn

    March 26, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    We are not fans of musicals but your post might make us hooked. Thanks for sharing Atoz Elisabeth. Going to check it out.

  9. Sarah

    March 26, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    This is one musical I have never watched. I really enjoy them, but haven’t had the time lately to watch them. Operas are also great to watch too. Thank you so much for sharing this. The video was definitely entertaining and serves a reminder to check out the full musical in length. Great blog post.

  10. Manahil

    March 27, 2020 at 4:03 am

    Many congratulations for being able to publish your 700th blog on the site. Keep doing good work

  11. littlemisadvencha

    March 27, 2020 at 5:17 am

    even though I don’t understand, i love the passion and love exerted by the artists on the clip. I actually enjoyed it. I wanna see again musicals live someday. I actually saw one in Disneyland. 🙂

  12. Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    March 27, 2020 at 5:47 am

    Hhhhmmmm….I have a good feeling about this one! I wanna watch it.

  13. Kuntala Bhattacharya

    March 27, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Loved the video. I have not watched the musical. Good share, I can spend my time on it. I love music as I am a trained singer.

  14. Gervin Khan

    March 27, 2020 at 10:00 am

    I love watching musical theater and this one looks really interesting. Congrats for having your 700th blog post!

  15. Daniel Sierra

    March 27, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    I have never been a big fan of musicals. But it is never too late to find new hobbies and likes, right? I love Wenn Ich Tanzen Will! Thank you very much fo sharing this!

  16. Daniel Sierra

    March 27, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    I have never been a big fan of musicals, but is never to late to start right? My favorite number was Wenn Ich Tanzen Will! Thank you very much for sharing this

  17. Stepnen

    March 27, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Love a good love triangle in a plot, this looks right up my street

  18. yana

    March 28, 2020 at 4:25 am

    wow 700th post!!! you did amazing job preparing for us the material and looking for them. thanks

  19. Elicit Folio

    March 29, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Congrats on your 700th blog post! I will definitely check this play out!

    1. thejoyousliving

      March 29, 2020 at 4:42 pm

      Thanks Elicit. It was a while ago but big monuments like 700th post are always to be celebrated.

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