Shows F

DIE FLEDERMAUS Music by Johann Strauss II: Libretto by Richard Genée and Carl Haffner. Theater an der Wein, April 5, 1874 Alhambra Theatre, London - 18 December, 1876 Stadt Theatre, New York - 21 November, 1874 Adaptation for amateur performance by Phil Park and Ronald Hanmer. Professional Versions: 1) English book and lyrics by Alfred Kalisch, 2) book and lyrics by Christopher Hassall, 3) book by Edmund Tracey, lyrics by Christopher Hassall Composed non-stop in forty-two 'nights of veritable rapture' this is the younger Strauss's most celebrated and popular operetta - intoxicatingly 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. A blissful show - especially rewarding for societies with high singing standards.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'. Act I An old flame has come looking for Rosalinde Eisenstein - Alfred, a hot blooded tenor. Rosalinde has long since married - but that does not deter Alfred. He stands beneath her window and sings a serenade. Alfred's high Cs still have their old insinuating charm. But what a day he has picked! Rosalinde's husband is due to report to prison for an eight-day sentence for riotous behaviour. He cannot get out of it, and comes home raging and ranting, deaf to reason. Consolingly, Rosalinde tries to make her husband's last hours of freedom pleasant. For one thing, she flatly refuses to give the maid, Adèle, the evening off. Adèle's excuses are renowned. This time she says her aunt has measles. But in truth she has had a letter from her sister suggesting she 'borrow' a dress and attend a ball at Count Orlofsky's palace. She is desperate to get the evening off. Rosalinde is unmoved; her thoughts are still running on Alfred and his top C. Just when Eisenstein has settled into a mood of utter dejection, his old friend Doctor Falke arrives. Doctor Falke and Eisenstein have shared a lot of good times together. There was the time, for instance, when they went to a fancy-dress ball with Eisenstein dressed as a butterfly and Falke dressed as a bat; Falke got drunk and Eisenstein, instead of seeing him home, dumped him on a park bench so that in the morning he had to walk home through the city dressed as a bat. Now Falke has another excursion in mind. As soon as Rosalinde is out of the room, he proposes an evening at Count Orlofsky's ball. 'But I have to report to gaol in an hour!' 'You can turn yourself in tomorrow morning,' says Falke, and quickly persuades Eisenstein to accompany him using a false name, of course. (There might even be an opportunity for Eisenstein to get out his infallible pocket watch - the one the girls cannot resist.) Eisenstein hurriedly puts on evening dress, telling his wife that he must face up to gaol in style. The fond farewells begin. Adèle joins in the lament in much the same mood of suppressed delight as Rosalinda and Eisenstein. For Rosalinde has had a change of heart and decided to give her maid the evening off after all. Rosalinde still has Alfred in mind. No sooner is Rosalinde left alone in the house than a parcel arrives - a mask, a wig and a cryptic note from