Die Fledermaus Opera Johann Strauss II Overture
Die Fledermaus Die Fledermaus ( The Bat ) is an operetta composed by Johann Strauss II to a German libretto by Karl Haffner and Richard Genée. The original source for Die Fledermaus is a farce by German playwright Julius Roderich Benedix, Das Gefängnis (The Prison). Another source is a French vaudeville play, Le réveillon , by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. It is the most celebrated and popular operetta of Staruss, melodious and exuberant. Mistaken identities, flirtations at a masked ball, elegant frivolities and confusions of all kinds provide a hilarious vehicle for some of the most captivating music ever written. The Overture is one of the most popular ever written, with five of the best tunes woven into a framework of the great “Fledermaus Waltz”. The operetta premiered on April 5th, 1874 at the “Theater an der Wien” in Vienna, and has been part of the regular operetta repertoire ever since. It was performed in New York under Bial at the Stadt Theatre on 21 November 1874, and then in English in London at the Alhambra Theatre on 18 December 1876, with the score heavily adapted by Hamilton Clarke.
The story of the “Bat Revenge” In a fashionable watering-place, described as "near a big city", lives Gabriel von Eisenstein, a wealthy man of independent means, with his attractive wife Rosalinda, and their maid Adele. The light-hearted story of Die Fledermaus tells of the revenge taken by Dr. Falke on Eisenstein for playing a practical joke on him. The previous winter, Eisenstein and Dr. Falke both attended a fancy-dress ball in a country house two miles from town. Von Eisenstein went as a butterfly and Dr. Falke as a bat (Fledermaus), tightly sewn up in a brown skin, with long claws, broad wings and a yellow beak. When morning came Dr. Falke had drunk more than was good for him, and on the way home through the woods von Eisenstein, assisted by the coachman, lifted him out of the carriage and placed him under a tree and left him sleeping, unconscious of his fate. When he woke, the poor man had to walk home, still in fancy dress , through the town in broad daylight, to the joy of all the street arabs and after that he was always known in the district as "Dr. Bat".
Characters: Rosalinde : wife of Eisenstein, beautiful young woman who is a little bit tired of having a husband who is always staring and flirting at other women. Gabriel von Eisenstein : husband of Rosalinde and friend of Falke, a romantic man who likes to be always joking and flirting at women. When the opera starts, von Eisenstein is in trouble with the law and has been sentenced to prison for eight days for using abusive language to a policeman. Dr. Falke : a notary who is a smart and polite man that was humiliated in a past party by his friend Eisenstein and has decided to take revenge. Alfred: an opera singer and old admirer of Rosalinde, stubbornly romantic and selfish.
Adele: maid of Rosalinde, a young and beautiful woman. Ida: sister of Adela and ballet dancer. Prince Orlofsky: a young and rich Russian Prince who frequently organizes dancing parties in Vienna, but in spite of this, he is always bored. Frank: governor of the local prison. Frosch : a jailer who is frequently drunk. Dr. Blind: a stutterer and incompetent lawyer of Eisenstein. Location and Time: Vienna, XIX Century.
Genug Damit Genug Einen Walzer spiel uns auf! Enough, that’s enough! Let’s have a waltz!
Act 1 Eisenstein's apartment Gabriel von Eisenstein has been sentenced to eight days in prison for insulting an official, partially due to the incompetence of his attorney, Dr. Blind. Adele, Eisenstein's maid , receives a letter from her sister, who is in the company of the ballet, inviting her to Prince Orlofsky's ball. She pretends the letter says that her aunt is very sick, and asks for a leave of absence. Falke, Eisenstein's friend, arrives to invite him to the ball.
Eisenstein bids farewell to Adele and his wife Rosalinde, pretending he is going to prison , but really intending to postpone jail for one day and have fun at the ball. After Eisenstein leaves, Rosalinde is visited by her lover , the singing teacher Alfred, who serenades her. Frank, the governor of the prison, arrives to take Eisenstein to jail, and finds Alfred instead. In order not to compromise Rosalinde, Alfred agrees to pretend to be Eisenstein and to accompany Frank.
Act 1 - Musical Numbers Alfred serenades his former sweetheart. "Dove, that has escaped." Adèle has received the invitation to the ball "My sister Ida writes to me", and asks for leave of absence. Eisenstein comes to Rosalinde in altercation with his attorney. Terzett: "Well, with such an attorney." Falke brings the invitation to the ball. Duet: " Come with me to the souper." Eisenstein’s farewell to Rosalinde and Adèle. Terzett with the refrain: "Oh dear, oh dear, how sorry I am." Alfred arrives. Finale, drinking song: "Happy is he who forgets"; Rosalinde’s defence when Frank arrives: "In tête-a -tête with me so late ," and Frank’s invitation: "My beautiful, large bird-cage."
Act 2 A summer house in the Villa Orlovsky It turns out that Falke, with Prince Orlofsky's permission, is orchestrating the ball as a way of getting revenge on Eisenstein. The previous winter, Eisenstein had abandoned a drunken Falke dressed as a bat, and thus explaining the opera's title, in the center of town, exposing him to ridicule the next day. As part of his scheme, Falke has invited Frank, Adele, and Rosalinde to the ball as well. Rosalinde pretends to be a Hungarian countess, Eisenstein goes by the name "Marquis Renard," Frank is "Chevalier Chagrin," and Adele pretends she is an actress.
The ball is in progress and the Prince Orlofsky welcomes his guests. Eisenstein is introduced to Adele , but is confused as to who she really is because of her striking resemblance to his maid. Then Falke introduces the disguised Rosalinde to Eisenstein During an amorous tête-à-tête, she succeeds in extracting a valuable watch from her husband's pocket, something which she can use in the future as evidence of his impropriety. In a rousing finale, the company celebrates followed by the canon: "Brothers, brothers and sisters"; and the ballet and waltz finale, "Ha, what joy, what a night of delight.")
Act 2 - Musical Numbers Chorus: "A souper is before us." Departure of the chorus, introduction of Eisenstein. Song of the prince. "I love to invite my friends." Eisenstein meets Adèle. Song of Adèle: "My dear marquis." Falke leaves Rosalinde to Eisenstein. Watch duet: "My eyes will soon be dim.“ The company approaches, Rosalinde is introduced as an Hungarian. Czardas: "Sounds from home“ . Finale Drinking song: "In the fire stream of the grape“ . Canon: "Brothers, brothers and sisters"; Ballet; waltz finale, "Ha, what joy, what a night of delight."
Act 3 In the prison offices of Governor Frank The next morning they all find themselves at the prison where the confusion increases and is compounded by the jailer, Frosch, who has profited by the absence of the prison director to become gloriously drunk. Adele arrives to obtain the assistance of the Chevalier Chagrin while Alfred wants nothing more than to get out of jail. Knowing of Eisenstein's trickery, Rosalinde wants to begin an action for divorce, and Frank is still intoxicated.
Frosch locks up Adele and her sister Ida and the height of the tumult arrives when Falke appears with all the guests of the ball and declares the whole thing is an act of vengeance for the "Fledermaus". Everything is amicably arranged with Eisenstein blaming the intoxicating effects of champagne for his act of infidelity. Orlofsky volunteers to support Adele's artistic career. Eisenstein is compelled to serve his full term in jail.
Act 3 – Musical Numbers Appearance of Frank. Melodrama; Couplet of Adèle: "I am an innocent from the country“. Terzett between Rosalinde, Eisenstein, Alfred: "A strange adventure“. Finale, "Oh bat, oh bat, at last let thy victim escape."