Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
|Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
|Vienna, April 5, 1874
Strauss's ever-popular operetta is a madcap comedy of light-hearted deceit, filled with lively dance music. Bourgeois citizen Eisenstein must go to prison because of an oversight by his lawyer. Hearing this news, Alfred, former lover of Eisenstein's wife, Rosalinda, decides to use her husband's absence to renew his suit. Then Eisenstein's friend Falke arrives, dressed as a bat, and invites the unwitting husband to postpone his imprisonment for a few hours and attend a masquerade. The pair depart and Alfred arrives, only to be mistaken for Eisenstein and carted off to jail. At the ball, Eisenstein is dazzled by a mysterious Hungarian countess, who is none other than his wife in disguise. Afterwards, he turns himself in at the jail, only to find Alfred and Rosalinda already there. As the three confront each other, the rest of the cast magically appears, tension dissolves and all unite in singing the praises of champagne.