Opera51 - La Traviata ensemble - 2014

Fledermaus - Synopsis


Bad Ischl, an Austrian spa town, 1874


Dr. Falke tells the story of his adventure as “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat): Once he
and Gabriel von Eisenstein went to a costume ball, after which the latter abandoned
Falke, passed out and still wearing his bat costume, in the middle of a
park. He was awakened the next morning by passersby, who laughingly christened
him “Fledermaus”. Falke plans to take his revenge for this prank tonight.

Act I - Eisenstein’s apartment

Through the windows of the home of Gabriel von Eisenstein, a tenor voice is
heard. Eisenstein’s wife, Rosalinda, is the object of the serenade.
The maid, Adele, comes into the salon, reading an invitation from her sister to a
party at the home of Prince Orlofsky. When Rosalinda appears, Adele invents a
story of a sick aunt and asks for the evening off. Rosalinda says no: Her husband
is due to start a brief stay in jail for fighting with a policeman, and she doesn’t
want to be alone.

Rosalinda recognizes the voice of Alfred, who once courted her at a spa in Bohemia.
She is startled when he enters her home since she is now married. She sends
him off, though he insists he will return.

Eisenstein arrives with his lawyer, Dr. Blind, whose bungling has earned his
client a longer jail sentence. Blind leaves.

Dr. Falke, a friend of Eisenstein’s, arrives. While Rosalinda is out of the room,
he invites Eisenstein to Orlofsky’s party, saying he can begin his jail term the
next morning. Falke suggests that Eisenstein bring along his repeater stopwatch,
which charms all the ladies.

Rosalinda returns, mystified that her husband seems cheerful and has donned
formal dress to go to prison. Meanwhile, she tells Adele to take the evening off
after all, then bids Eisenstein a sorrowful farewell.

No sooner is she alone than Alfred returns, sees the table set for two and opens
the wine. Their tête-à-tête is interrupted by the jail warden, Frank. Rosalinda
pretends Alfred is her husband, leaving him no choice but to go with the warden.

Act II - Prince Orlofsky’s villa

At Prince Orlofsky’s villa, Adele, meeting her sister Ida, is surprised to learn that
Ida did not send the invitation. Orlofsky enters, bored, hoping to be amused by
a prank, “The Bat’s Revenge”, that Falke is planning. It was Falke who wrote to
Adele, and he introduces her as the actress “Olga”.

A “Marquis de Renard”, who turns out to be Eisenstein, is announced, and Orlofsky
explains that he expects his guests to match him drink for drink. His motto
is “Chacun à son goût”— each to one’s own taste. Eisenstein recognizes Adele in
his wife’s evening gown, and she in turn challenges his alias. Frank, the prison
warden, arrives under the alias “Duke de Bastille”, thickening Falke’s plot.

Now Rosalinda, also summoned by Falke, appears, masked, as a Hungarian
countess. When she sees her husband flirting with her maid, she nearly drops
her disguise. Falke introduces her to “Renard”, who lures her with his famous
repeater watch. Asking him to take her pulse, she pockets the watch, then—to
show she is Hungarian—launches into a czardas.

Orlofsky proposes a toast to Champagne, the king of wines. As Eisenstein tipsily
befriends Frank, Falke urges everyone to celebrate wine, love, and dance. Eisenstein
tries to unmask the countess, but when the clock strikes six, he must hurry
to jail.

Act III - The prison

In jail, Alfred persists in singing, to the annoyance of the tipsy jailer, Frosch.
Frank arrives, none too steady himself, and is soon asleep over a newspaper. He
is awakened by Frosch, who ushers in two unexpected callers, Ida and Adele.
Reminding Frank of his earlier attentions, Adele says she would like his help in
launching her stage career and proceeds to show off her thespian skills.

When “Marquis de Renard” is announced, Frank hides the girls in a jail cell.
Eisenstein appears, and the men admit their identities. When Rosalinda is
announced, Frank excuses himself, and the real Eisenstein greets his lawyer,
Blind, with whom he hastily changes clothes. Blind has been summoned by
Alfred, who comes out of the cell to meet him, but finds Eisenstein instead, disguised
as the lawyer.

Rosalinda enters, not recognizing her husband and wondering what sort of
explanation to make so as not to compromise herself. Learning of Alfred’s supper
with his wife the evening before, Eisenstein is outraged. Rosalinda retorts that
her husband was also out on the town. Eisenstein sheds his disguise. When she
produces the watch, however, he realizes she was the “Hungarian countess”.
Checkmated, he looks up to see Falke arrive, followed by Adele and Ida, and
mistaken identities are unraveled.

Orlofsky and the other party guests appear. All laugh at “The Bat’s Revenge”, and
repeat the joyous toast to King Champagne.

Tickets and Information

Performances are June 9 and 10 at 8 PM, and June 11 at 2 PM. 

Tickets can be ordered on line here or by calling 51 Walden at 978-369-7911.