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Strauß Johann Strauß and his three wives

1.  Marriage to Henriette Treffz-Chalupetzky, called Jetty (1818-1878).

Strauß got to know her in the house of the banker Cavalier Maurice Todesco. The palais he had built still stands (Kärntnerstraße 51, close to the State Opera). Henrietta was the banker’s lover, she was even called Baroness Todesco. Before her marriage to Strauß she had given birth to 7 illegitimate children. She was the daughter of gold- and silver smith Joseph Chalupetzky, had a beautiful soprano voice and performed at Dresden Opera with Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient and at the Theater an der Wien with Jenny Lind. Strauß had known her for 15 years before marrying her on August 27th, 1862 at St.Stephen’s, Vienna. They moved to an apartment in the 2nd district, today 1020 Vienna, Praterstraße 54, where Strauß later on wrote the Danube Waltz. The apartment is now open to the public as a museum. 
After her marriage, the former singer and financier Todesco’s lover turned into a perfect secretary, a charming motherly housewife and a great manager, who relieved her husband of every-day problems, e.g. the preparation of concert tours and the copying of music. Henriette died on April 8th, 1878 after a stroke. 50 days later Strauß was married a second time. 
It is her historic merit to have motivated the Waltz King to turn to the composition of operettas. 
 

2.  His marriage to Ernestine Henriette Angelica Dittrich, called "Lily“

Angelica Dittrich was born on March 30th, 1850 at Breslau. She was a pupil of the impeial choirmaster Heinrich Proch, who conducted the first night of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the then recently opened Imperial Court Opera (May 25th, 1869). Via Strauß she tried to get an engagement at the Theater an der Wien. Instead of an engagement a marriage materialised. Strauß, 25 years older than Lily, had been acquainted with her although his wife did not know about the affair. He married her on May 28th, 1878 at Karlskirche, Vienna, 50 days after Jetty’s death. After the marriage the couple moved to a new palais at Igelgasse 4, today Johann-Strauß-Gasse 4, which had been built on ideas of Strauß’ first wife. 
The marriage was not a happy one. There were quarrels and both had little understanding for each other. Anna Strauß, Johann’s single sister, mentions an affair between Lily and Franz Steiner, director of the Theater an der Wien. When Lily became assistant at that theatre it happened that "Eine Nacht in Venedig“ was not performed first at the Theater an der Wien but in Berlin (October 3rd, 1883) - the only Strauß operetta to be treated like that. 
On December 9th, 1882 the marriage was dissolved by consent. Lily died in great penury at Bad Tatzmannsdorf (1919) of cancer. In the last years of her life she could be seen walking around Strauß’ villa at Schönau near Leobersdorf, in the neighbourhood of Baden. The Strauß villa was demolished later on. 

3.  The marriage to Adele Deutsch, widowed Adele Strauß, nicknamed "Cosima in waltztime“ or "troublesome widow“. 

She herself wanted to be addressed as "Mrs Johann Strauß“.

Adele was born on January 1st, 1856 in Vienna and in 1874 she married the banker’s son Anton Strauß who died in 1877. Therefore her legitimate name was Strauß and she also introduced herself to Johann Strauß saying that her name was one of the most famous in the world. A marriage was out of the question as Strauß was divorced and could not marry according to Catholic canon law. They began to live together in 1883 and their union was legalised in the following way: Johann Strauß became a citizen of Saxony and converted to Protestantism. On August 15th, 1887 he married Adele in the Court Chapel of Coburg. She was his junior by 31 years. 
Adele took full command of her husband’s life. As a manager she even surpassed Jetty’s initiative. After Strauß’ death she was a precise administrator of his legacy and took care to get all the royalties she was entitled to. 
Adele Strauß died in 1930. The musical world owes to her the "Lex Johann Strauß“. 


The "Lex Johann Strauß"   

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