A new production of Johan Strauss's beautiful opera, Die Fledermaus, is now on stage at the Metropolitan
Opera in New York. The Metropolitan Opera, or what we call now refer to as the "Met" after its 128 year history, has been
home to many talented artists, singers conductors, composers, designers and the magical list of creative could go on and on
and will continue. And now, Jeremy Sams is returning to the Metropolitan Opera after his success with the popular production
of The Enchanted Island. The 2013-2014 season schedule runs from Tuesday, December 31, 2013 -Saturday, February 22, 2014.
New York audiences may catch either a matinee or evening performance: Tuesday at 7:30 PM, Wednesday at 7:30 PM, Monday at
7:30 PM and Saturday at 1:00 PM and 8:00 PM. On Tuesday, December 31 it also includes a gala!
original performance of Die Fledermaus was inspired by a satire by Julius Roderich Benedix, a German playwright, and took
the stage on April 5, 1874 at the Stadt Theatre. It is also considered that an additional source for the Die Fledermaus is
a French play found on the vaudeville stage. The play was called Le réveillon and was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic
Halevy. Due some peculiarities of Le reveillon, with the setting being a New Year's Eve dinner party, it was determined that
the play would be adapted for Johann Strauss with the Viennese ball instead of the dinner party. There was a interesting story
regarding Richard Genee and Karl Haffner. Following the Viennese ball transition, Haffner allegedly gave the translation f
the adaptation to Richard Genee. At that point, Genee publically claimed that he was the one-and-only translator and took
it even further that he had never even met Haffner. Later, there was a German premiere in 1875, it was on the Alhambra Theatre
stage in London in December 1876. The first performance in London was in English and was not actually seen on stage in German
at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The opera, Die Fledermaus, has been adapted for both motion pictures and television
a number of times. It was adapted as a silent film in 1917 and 1923 in Germany, again shown in both France and Germany in
1931. In 1933, it was produced as a new title (Waltz Time) in Great Britain and later under the title Oh… Rosalinda!!
in 1955. Between those two years it was released again in Germany in 1937 and 1946, and in East Germany in 1955 and West Germany,
as Rauschende Melodien, the same year as a television adaption. In 1979 it was given the title in the Soviet Union. As in
West Germany, a television adaptation was created in Great Britain in 1984. The 1990s say performances in Great Britain and
Australia with the new millennium (2001) it was given a new stage name in France, La chauve-souris.
Initially, the leading
role, Gabriel von Eisenstein, was written for a tenor. In present days, it is frequently performed by a baritone. The role
of Orlofsky is also played by both a tenor and baritone, depending on the stage.
Die Fledermaus contains a revised libretto that is written by the well-known Douglas Carter Beane. The story is set in Vienna
at the turn of the new century. For approximately three hours and thirty minutes, audiences will find inspiration of the scenic
designer's beautification of the stage is elegant and opulent and is reminiscent of the paintings of Gustav Klimt. The story
starts with Gabriel von Eisenstein being sentenced to prison for eight days. A maid of Einstein receives a letter that invites
her to a ball, so she claims that she must leave work to visit a sick relative to attend the ball. Having lied to Eisenstein,
it is revealed that Eisenstein is postponing prison to also attend the ball. After he leaves for the ball, not the prison,
his wife, Rosalinde is visited by her lover. The first stage sets ups up what is a relatively complicated and interconnected
web of a plot.
The cast is as glittery as the stage with Susanna Phillips and Christopher Maltman
in their leading roles. Both Phillips and Maltman accompanied by the divine cast: Christine Schafer, Anthony Roth Costanzo,
Michal Fabiana and Paulo Szot.
The production of Die Fledermaus is brought to audiences by The
Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund and in the honor of the wife of Howard, Solomon, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon. Together,
with production team, audiences will in the most curious ways experience the essence of early Sigmund Freud in this work by
composer Johan Strauss Jr. and librettists, Richard Genee and Karl Haffner. The production and the lyrics are written the
esteemed Jeremy Sams with dialogue created by Douglas Carter Beane. The elaborate set and costume design were carefully crafted
by Robert Jones. The stunning choreography is put together by Stephen Mear. The opera is sung in English with met titles offered
in English, German and Spanish.