Die Fledermaus - The Bat - Schedule, Program & Tickets

Die Fledermaus - The Bat

Operetta from Johann Strauß

Duration: 3 hours 15 minutes, Intermissions: 2

Sascha Goetzel | Dirigent
Otto Schenk | Regie
Günther Schneider Siemssen | Bühnenbild
Milena Canonero | Kostüme
Gerlinde Dill | Choreographie im 2. Akt "Unter Donner und Blitz"

Michael Schade | Gabriel von Eisenstein
Petra Maria Schnitzer | Rosalinde
Alfred Šramek | Frank
Elena Maximova | Prinz Orlofsky
Norbert Ernst | Alfred, ein Tenor
Clemens Unterreiner | Dr. Falke
Daniela Fally | Adele
Peter Simonischek | Frosch
N.N. | Frank
N.N. | Alfred
N.N. | Dr. Blind
N.N. | Ida

This quintessential Viennese operetta deserves to be enjoyed throughout the year, and not just on New Year's Eve. Eisenstein evades a summons to serve a brief prison sentence by accepting Falke's invitation to Prince Orlowsky's party. His wife's former beau Alfred is escorted to jail in his place, having been mistakenly identified as Eisenstein. At the party everyone plays an assumed part, and later must share in the quilt of deception. A drunken prison guard, a stolen watch ... somehow everything is worked out in the end and the operetta's motto "Glücklich ist, wer vergisst, was doch nicht zu ändern ist" ("happy are they who forget what can't be changed") rings true.

The plot of Die Fledermaus is woven around a ball given by Prince Orlofsky. During the first act, a whole host of characters are irresistibly drawn to it: The chambermaid Adele is invited (or so she believes) by her sister Ida, and after some difficulty she succeeds in getting the night off by inventing a moving story about a sick aunt. Meanwhile her employer, Eisenstein, a man of independent means, has recently been given a prison sentence for insulting a public official but, rather than reporting to serve the sentence, he is persuaded by his friend Dr. Falke to join him for a night of revelry at Orlofsky’s. Dr. Falke is following his own agenda – Eisenstein once humiliated him in front of the whole town by leaving him to return home from a masked ball through the streets, drunk and dressed as a bat, and Falke now sees his opportunity for revenge; and so he also invites Eisenstein's wife Rosalind to the ball. Due to Eisenstein’s departure ‘for prison’, Rosalind is already in disarray when a former admirer of hers named Alfred shows up and tries to woo her, only to be arrested by prison governor Frank who takes him for Eisenstein. Frank, satisfied by a job well done, then also decides to attend Orlofsky's ball.

At the ball, Dr. Falke’s machinations play out splendidly: to Eisenstein’s astonishment he meets his chambermaid Adele, who brazenly denies her identity; he befriends a French ‘chevalier’ – in truth none other than prison governor Frank; and finally he falls in love with his own wife, masked and disguised as a Hungarian countess.

In the third act, the knots begin to unravel. The action takes place at the prison, a rather shady affair thanks to Frosch, the permanently drunk gaoler. One by one, the characters reappear: first prison governor Frank, extremely hungover, then Adele, who is hoping to find a patron to foster her dramatic talent, along with her sister Ida, and then Eisenstein, who is astonished to find that he has apparently been locked up all night. When Rosalind also appears and, together with Alfred, demands an interview with a lawyer, Eisenstein dons a disguise and takes the place of the stuttering lawyer Dr. Blind. This trick allows him to get to the bottom of the previous evening’s events. Fortunately he then allows himself to be convinced that everything was a part of Dr Falke’s plot for revenge; and so it all ends happily, and Adele even finds her patron in the form of Prince Orlofsky.

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