Similar to Handel, Strauss’s father did not want him to become a musician;nevertheless, he studied the violin secretly as a child.
Strauss was a composer knownespecially for his waltzes, such asThe Blue Danube (An der schönen blauen Donau) and for his most popular opera, Die Fledermaus (The Bat).
The Blue Danube:The instrumental version is by far the most commonly performed waltz in the world today.
Due to his worldwide success withThe Blue Danube, Strauss became known as “The Waltz King.”
Die Fledermaus is a comic operetta. Despite being an operetta, it is claimed by Opera America to be the nineteenth most performed “opera" in North America.
The Baron von Eisenstein has been committed to prison for eight days for insulting an official, partly through the inefficiency of his attorney, thestuttering Notary Blind, and is to begin his imprisonment this day. His friend, Dr. Falke, however, persuades him to postpone it until the morrow and to accompany him to a ball at the residence of Prince Orlofsky, where he willmeet the handsome ladies of the opera ballet. Falke had been at a masked ballthe previous winter, costumed as a bat, and had been compelled by Eisenstein to walk to his home in broad daylight to the joy and amusement of the populace. He hopes to find an opportunity for vengeance at the coming ball.Eisenstein accepts the invitation, and telling his wife he is going to prison, and taking a mournful farewell of her and the maid Adèle, hastens with Falke to the ball. After his departure Rosalinde, his wife, is visited by a former admirer, the singing teacher, Alfred, whose behaviour is rather free. The night has set in and Frank, the governor of the prison, has come to take Eisenstein to jail. He finds Alfred taking his ease attired in a smoking jacket, and he, in order not to compromise Rosalinde, moved by her prayers, is induced to represent himself as Eisenstein and to accompany Frank.
Falke has also invited the governor of the prison, Frank, the maid Adèle, and to complete the joke, Rosalinde, to be his guests at the ball. The latter, inorder to observe her husband, appears masked. She is introduced by Falke as an Hungarian countess, and succeeds in abstracting from the pockets of her husband his valuable watch, to use in the future as evidence of his impropriety. Frank has paid court to Adèle, and the next morning they all find themselves in prison, when the confusion increases, for Falke has introduced Eisenstein as Marquis Renard, Frank as Chevalier Chagrin and Adèle as an actress. It is still further increased by the jailer, Frosch, who has profited by the absence of the prison director to become gloriously drunk.Adèle arrives to obtain the assistance of the Chevalier Chagrin, Eisenstein tobegin his prison term, Alfred wants to get out of jail, Rosalinde to commence action for divorce, and Frank is still intoxicated. Frosch locks up Adèle and her sister Ida, and the height of the tumult has been reached when Falke arrives with all the guests of the ball and declares the whole as an act of vengeance for the "Fledermaus." Everything is amicably arranged, but Eisenstein is compelled to serve his full term in jail.