Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof (English original title Fiddler on the Roof " Fiddler on the Roof ") is a musical based on the Yiddish novel " Tevye the Milkman " by Sholem Aleichem. The original English title comes from Marc Chagall's picture Fiddler on the Roof.

Authors, performances

The authors of the musicals are Joseph Stein ( book), Jerry Bock (music) and Sheldon Harnick (lyrics ). The premiere took place on September 22, 1964 at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway in New York instead, the musical moved in 1967 to the Majestic Theatre and in 1970 to The Broadway Theatre.

Directed and choreographed took over Jerome Robbins, Harold Prince produced the musical. Zero Mostel played the main character Tevye, his wife Golde played Maria Karnilova, Beatrice Arthur as Jente the matchmaker and Bert Convy as Perchik the student revolutionary. In his nearly eight -year term production reached more than 3,000 performances as the first Broadway musical.

The opening in the West End at Her Majesty's Theatre was on February 16, 1967, Chaim Topol in the lead role. With 2030 performances, the musical was a great success there as well. Its European premiere saw the musical, even before it came out in London's West End for Performance, in the Netherlands, where it was on December 21, 1966 premiere. For this production, which received its premiere a total of 586 times, the title was renamed in Fiddler on the Roof.

The German premiere took place in February 1968 in the operetta house in Hamburg, in a translation by Rolf Merz and Gerhard Hagen. The best-known performer of Tevye was in Germany Shmuel Rodensky. Ivan Rebroff played the role in the French version Un violon sur le toit, which had at the Théâtre Marigny in Paris premiere in 1969.

At the Komische Oper in Berlin, the piece in the legendary production Walter Felsenstein 1971 to 1988 was on the Schedule experienced 506 performances and was seen by more than half a million people.


The story takes place in the Russian Empire in the Ukrainian shtetl of Anatevka in the pre-revolutionary period around 1905. Village lives in a Jewish community that places great value on tradition. The milkman Tevye ( Yiddish pet form of the Hebrew name Tuvia ) lives with his wife Golde and their five daughters in poverty. Despite the threat of pogroms in Tsarist Russia Tevye retained its courage and humor.

Tevjes tradition-conscious way of life is called into question when his three oldest daughters are of marriageable age. Actually should Jente, the marriage broker, give them a suitable husband. Tevye promises his oldest daughter Tzeitel even the wealthy butcher Lazar Wolf, as this opens him that she has with her childhood friend, the poor tailor Mottel, engaged. Hodel, the second eldest daughter, falls in love with Perchik the student from Kiev, Tevje receives as a private tutor for his daughters. Perchik has revolutionary ideas and is arrested for it. The third oldest daughter Chava finally wants to marry a non-Jewish young Russians.

Tevye struggles with the marriage of his daughters wishes, weighs in cryptic monologues the pros and cons from. He witnessed the questioning of its tradition, but consents to the marriage Zeitels with Mottel and leaves, although there it is difficult to draw Hodel. Chava, however, violating and forgives her until the very end, when she joins the exodus of their family.

The marriage of Tzeitel and Mottel was already disturbed by a show of force of the Russian soldiers, as the political pressure of the Tsars and the Jews increasingly have to leave the village of Anatevka at the end. You leave the inhospitable Russia and migrate to America. The fiddler begins to play.

Musical numbers


The Broadway production won nine Tony Awards in 1965 in the categories:

  • Best Musical
  • Best Original Score ( Best Original Score ): Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
  • Best Actor: Zero Mostel
  • Best Supporting Actress: Maria Karnilova
  • Best Book: Joseph Stein
  • Best Production: Harold Prince
  • Best Director: Jerome Robbins
  • Best Choreography: Jerome Robbins
  • Best Costume Design: Patricia Zipprodt

In 1972 the same production a Special Tony Award for the ( by then) longest term in the history of Broadway


Chaim Topol played the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the successful film version ( original title Fiddler on the roof ) by Norman Jewison from 1971. Other Cast: Norma Crane as Golde, Molly Picon as Jente, Paul Michael Glaser as a student Perchik.