Johann Strauß
1825 - 1899
Comic operetta in three acts ׀ Libretto by Richard Genée after the comedy Le Réveillon (1872) by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy in the German version by Karl Haffner
First performed April 5th 1874, Theater an der Wien, Vienna

Sung in German
Duration: c. 3 hrs. 30 min. incl. one interval

About the Piece

This Fledermaus is different. It sounds different – but the music has not changed. It tells the story differently. It shows ...
This Fledermaus is different. It sounds different – but the music has not changed. It tells the story differently. It shows people fighting for their honour and zest for life – and is full of fun. »Happy is he who can forget that which cannot be changed«, that is not just the motto at Prince Orlofsky’s ball, also it appears also to be the maxim of the opera’s performance history. Christof Loy decided to really follow the story: what happened before this »bat’s revenge«, what does Dr. Falke want to pay Einsenstein back for, that he made him look a fool in his bat costume? This production with its clever flash backs and masterly directed dialogue is stunning. »Loy delved deep into the music, tickling out of if those nostalgic balancing acts that are so typical of Austrian mentality ›one side takes all, the other nothing‹«, wrote Uwe Schweikert in »Opernwelt«: this production of Fleder¬maus is more Fledermaus than others. Is almost everything just made up or a large-scale ruse? Who is in league with whom? Christof Loy’s answer to this question is highly original. Four years before the story in this operetta begins Gabriel von Eisenstein, a one time bachelor who has now mutated into a hedonistic early retiree, played a mean trick on his friend Dr. Falke. Since that day Falke has been plotting his revenge. After a masked ball Einsenstein left his leglessy drunk notary friend, who was dressed as a bat, in a horizontal position in a park in the city so he would have to crawl away from the scornful laughter of passers-by the next morning. Now, shortly before a masked ball in a spa not far from Vienna, his revenge is about to be stage-managed. The Viennese bourgeoisie survived the »black day« of the stock exchange crash on May 9th 1873 and are now enjoying themselves again with waltzes, champagne, polka, gallop and the »firey river of the grape«. Society appears only to be capable of considerate communication in the intoxicated atmosphere of maskerade, which triggered this story off. Loy’s production shows that nothing has changed today.


Gabriel von Eisenstein and his wife Rosalinde live in a small town near Vienna. He was a great party goer before his marriage and ...
Gabriel von Eisenstein and his wife Rosalinde live in a small town near Vienna. He was a great party goer before his marriage and was always accompanied by his friend, Dr. Falke. He once played a mean prank on him leaving a completely drunk Falke in the town’s central square in the early hours. Falke was dressed as a bat. His reputation was lost, and his friendship with Eisenstein never the same. Falke has since been plotting revenge.
   Eisenstein has been sentenced to a few days in jail for arguing with a police officer - was this event staged by Falke? The day of his friend’s incarceration draws near. Falke sets his scheme in motion. He remains a favourite of Prince Orlofsky, who likes to gather artists and others of life’s flotsam and jetsam around him. Another member of the Prince’s entourage is a former lover of Eisenstein’s wife: Alfred, a tenor, who gives the Prince singing lessons. Alfred is to visit Rosalinde as soon as Eisenstein has set off for prison and try to seduce her. Falke persuades Eisenstein to drop in at a party being thrown by Orlofsky’s party before going to prison. Unfairly, Falke tells Rosalinde about this. She is a victim of Falke and her own unfulfilled desires: should she commit adultery with Alfred or go and see for herself that her husband is cheating on her right now instead of sitting in prison? Falke has got to know the new director of the prison, who has also been invited to Orlofsky’s. He arrives to arrest Eisenstein for not turning up at the prison but has no idea that the man in question is not Eisenstein but Alfred, whom Rosalinde passed off as her husband to avoid a scandal.
   At Orlofsky’s party all, on Falke’s advice, and as is usual for these intimate occasions, assume borrowed names. Eisenstein becomes Marquis Renard, the prison director Chevalier Chagrin and Adele, the Eisensteins’ maid, a budding artist called Fräulein Olga. Eisenstein struggles playing Marquis Renard but regains his old superiority when the prison director, Frank, is even more hopeless. Eisenstein now makes a play for the main attraction of the evening, a masked Hungarian countess. His wife in disguise. She manages to purloin his talisman: a lady’s watch which he uses as bait during his escapades.
   All meet up again the next morning in prison. The director returns, closely followed by Adele and her sister Ida. They believe that Frank really is a Chevalier and intend to blackmail him. The incidents of the previous night will be handled discreetly if he finances acting lessons for Adele. Eisenstein appears to begin his sentence. Frank cannot believe that Einsenstein and not Marquis Renard because he arrested him yesterday evening in the presence of his wife. Falke’s revenge damages Eisenstein’s honour as a married man. Eisenstein disguises himself as a lawyer to give advice to Rosalinde and her supposed lover Alfred. His jealousy gets the better of him. He is floored when Rosalinde produces the watch and reveals that she was »his« Hungarian countess. She is willing to file for divorce. Eisenstein realises that is Falke’s victim. His unshakable belief in himself cannot save him from the consequences of the past night. His defence that: »the champagne was to blame for everything« falls on deaf ears.

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Saturday 09.02.2013 19:00 h

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Roland Böer
Christof Loy
Set and Costume Designer
Herbert Murauer
Lighting Designer
Olaf Winter
Norbert Abels
Thomas Wilhelm
Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler

Gabriel von Eisenstein
Daniel Schmutzhard
Barbara Zechmeister
Thorsten Grümbel
Prinz Orlofsky / Frosch
Martin Wölfel
Stephan Rügamer
Dr. Falke
Sebastian Geyer
Dr. Blind
Hans-Jürgen Lazar
Christiane Karg
Andrea M. Dewell
Umberto De Bernardo, Christoph Quest, Daniel Heck, Marcus Hosch, Vassily Dück, Matthias Spahn, Dominic Betz, Verena Specht-Ronique, Rebekka Aue, Lisa Heck, Paula Rosolen

Chorus and Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt


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