Opérette (1874)

Musique: Johann Strauss II
Paroles: Richard Genée
Livret: Carl Haffner • Richard Genée
Production à la création:

Die Fledermaus est sans conteste le grand chef-d’oeuvre de Johann Strauss et l’opérette viennoise par excellence. Sur fond de désastre économique et social, Strauss compose, en 1874, cette oeuvre emplie d’allégresse et de vitalité, dans laquelle airs brillants et valses, certaines parmi les plus célèbres du répertoire, dominent la pièce. Les personnages se retrouvent au coeur d’un bal masqué à Vienne, et sous son déguisement, chacun recherche l’ivresse et l’exaltation de l’amour et de la séduction. Après plusieurs quiproquos et supercheries, tous s’entendent pour blâmer le « Roi Champagne », cause de toutes les incartades. L’oeuvre, adaptée d’après la pièce française Le Réveillon, est traditionnellement jouée à Vienne, chaque année, le soir du 31 décembre.

Gabriel von Eisenstein doit aller en prison y purger une courte peine pour outrage. Son ami Falke lui conseille de se rendre malgré tout, et à l’insu de sa femme Rosalinde, au bal masqué du prince Orlofsky. Rosalinde a prévu de recevoir entre temps son amant Alfred. Mais ce plan est contrecarré du fait qu’ Alfred est écroué par le directeur de la prison à la place d’Eisenstein. Rosalinde se rend elle aussi au bal d’Orlofsky… où Eisenstein met tout en oeuvre pour séduire une beauté inconnue, masquée qui lui subtilise sa belle montre. Le lendemain, Eisenstein s’annonce à la prison où Alfred est enfermé à sa place. Et les relations étranges sont toutes élucidées : il apparaît qu’Eisenstein a séduit sa propre femme (ce que prouve la montre). On passe l’éponge sur cet épisode et le champagne est déclaré coupable de tout…

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 Doctor Falke: "If you want to see your husband dancing away his prison term, wear these and come to Count Orlofsky's palace tonight."
In high dudgeon, Rosalinde's plans for evening with Alfred change rapidly. Unfortunately Alfred is not so willing to alter his plans. Amorous and shameless, he makes himself at home in Eisenstein's clothes, eating Eisenstein's supper and planning breakfast with Eisenstein's wife.
When yet another visitor is heard coming up the stairs, Rosalinde is at her wits' end. It is Frank, the prison governor. Though he too is on his way to Count Orlofsky's ball, he has come in person to escort his esteemed prisoner to gaol. Seeing Alfred (slightly the worse for drinking Eisenstein's wine) he immediately assumes it is Eisenstein. Alfred begins to contradict him, but Rosalinde hastily assures the prison governor that this is indeed her husband.
Alfred is a great fatalist. He accepts the situation as unavoidable and makes the best he can of it, with a long goodbye to Rosalinde. Then he surrenders himself into Frank's custody.

Act II
Prince Orlofsky's parties are legendary. They delight everyone but him. Orlofsky suffers from that terrible disease of billionaires-ennui: everything bores him! He cannot laugh. Tonight, Doctor Falke is his 'Master of the Revels' and has arranged something special for the Count's amusement. Orlofsky promises to pin a medal on Falke's chest if it makes him laugh.
When the Act opens, the guests are singing in praise of the occasion. Adèle receives a less than warm welcome from her sister. 'Letter? What letter? I didn't send you a letter!' Falke sent it. He greets Adele warmly, congratulates her on her new career as an actress, and rechristens her 'Tanya'. A moment later Eisenstein arrives, calling himself the Marquis Renard.
First he makes the grave faux pas of mistaking the elegant actress Tanya for his housemaid! The guests take him to task in 'The Laughing Song'. Adèle joins in. Next, Eisenstein strikes up an undying friendship with Chevalier Chagrin, the pseudonym being used by prison governor Frank. But by the time Falke's chief guest of the evening arrives - a masked Hungarian Countess - Eisenstein has a pair of dancing girls on each arm and his infallible chiming watch at the ready.
He is extremely taken with the mysterious foreign lady. Being well acquainted with the watch and its uses, the 'Countess' (Rosalinde in disguise of course) encourages Eisenstein to put it through its paces. During 'The Watch Duet', she manages to take it from him in such a way that he dare not ask for it back. He bewails his disgrace at losing it.
Orlofsky's entertainments of course include a ballet - an obligatory ingredient in operettas of the period. This one is usually danced to one of the famous Strauss waltzes, although, for the original, Strauss wrote a sequence of national dances Spanish, Scottish, Russian, Hungarian … Then the 'Hungarian Countess' obliges the guests by singing a native Hungarian folksong - a Czardas. Then Count Orlofsky toasts the life and soul of the party - 'Champagne the Great!' Frank and Eisenstein are, by this stage, inseparable. The mood is one of universal friendship as Orlofsky begins the dancing with a waltz - the waltz!
The clock strikes midnight. Like twin Cinderellas, Eisenstein and Frank scramble out of doors, leaving behind a wake of wrong coats and hats, not realising that they are headed for the same destination.

The Gaol Scene opens with a cameo comic sketch. Frosch, the drunken deputy warder, is suffering from a surfeit of drink and Alfred's singing in the cells. Frank comes reeling in and falls asleep. Adèle and her sister arrive at the door. They have taken up Frank on his invitation to come and live with him in his 'big town house'- an offer made while the 'Chevalier Chagrin' was not quite himself. Adèle promptly launches into The Audition Song.
No time for applause before the bell rings again. Eisenstein is at the door, reporting for his sentence. Frank refuses to believe Eisenstein is Eisenstein. After all, he arrested Eisenstein the night before, while the prisoner was in his dressing gown, having supper with his wife. Eisenstein demands to see this prisoner, but nobody is allowed into the cells. Fortuitously, his lawyer, Blind, arrives at that very moment. Eisenstein demands the lawyer's hat, glasses, cape, briefcase and beard (!), and dresses up as Blind. Alfred is brought out to consult with his lawyer. He encounters the latest arrival: Rosalinde is in a state of great agitation, partly because of her husband's behaviour at the ball and partly because discovery of her supper with Alfred is inevitable.
Alfred explains to his 'lawyer' that he has been wrongfully arrested and how it came about. Rosalinde explains how unfortunate it might seem if anyone were to find out about the innocent little supper. They find their lawyer surprisingly hostile. Eisenstein takes off his disguise and confronts them as a wronged husband. But nobody is penitent. Rosalinde dangles the chiming watch under her husband's nose.
The entire Orlofsky retinue pour in and bring an end to the confusion. Falke has brought the Count and his party-goers to the prison to conclude 'The Revenge of the Bat'. He explains that every disguise, every pseudonym, every compromising situation was part of his revenge on the man who left him on a park bench dressed as a bat. Rosalinde blames her husband's excesses on Champagne the Great, and Orlofsky decides to sponsor Adèle in her acting career.
There is a perfect excuse for everyone to break into the Champagne Song - and laughing out loud, Orlofsky pins a medal on Doctor Falke's chest.

Die Fledermaus (en français, La Chauve-Souris) est une célèbre opérette viennoise de Johann Strauss II composée en 1874 et créée au Theater an der Wien de Vienne le 5 avril 1874.

À la base du livret, une pièce autrichienne de 1851, Das Gefängnis (La Prison) adaptée par Henri Meilhac et Ludovic Halévy en 1872 sous le titre "Le Réveillon". L'œuvre retourne à Vienne, où l'histoire est transformée par Richard Genée et Karl Haffner. Strauss achève la partition en 42 jours. Créée en français à Paris le 30 octobre 1877 sous le titre La Tzigane, dans une version remaniée de Delacour et Wilder, elle ne rencontre le succès qu'à partir de 1904 dans une nouvelle adaptation de Paul Ferrier.

La Chauve-Souris (en français)
Gay Rosalinda (en anglais)

Trio - Rosalinda, Eistenstein, Dr. Blind - "When your advocate's a ninny … "
Duet - Eisenstein, Falke - "It's the talk of the town … "
Trio - Rosalinda, Adele, Eisenstein - "And must I live eight long days … "
Finale I - "Drain a draught of wine with me … "
Introduction - Chorus - "What a feast, what a spread … "
Couplets - Orlofsky - "I always feel beholden to the guests whom I invite … "
Ensemble and Couplets - Orlofsky, Falke, etc - "How absolutely splendid … "
Duet - Eisenstein, Rosalinda - "What a tonic, what a beauty … "
Csardas - Rosalinda - "Music of childhood … "
Finale II - all soloists and chorus- "The glint of champagne glasses … "
Melodrama - Frank - "Here's a health your highness … "
Couplets - Adele, Ida-Frank - "Picture a coy village maiden … "
Trio - Rosalinda, Alfred, Eisenstein - "I have a suspicion … "
Finale III - Company - "O Fledermaus, old Flittermouse … "

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Fledermaus (Die)

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Fledermaus (Die)

Version 1

Fledermaus (Die) (1874-04-Theater an der Wien-Wien)

Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Theater an der Wien (Vienne - Autriche)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : 05 April 1874
Première: 05 April 1874
Dernière: Inconnu
Mise en scène : ???? ????
Chorégraphie : ???? ????
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Jani Szika, Marie Geistinger, Karoline Charles-Hirsch

Version 2

Fledermaus (Die) (1874-11-Stadt Theatre-Broadway)

Type de série: Original Broadway
Théâtre: Stadt Theatre (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : 21 November 1874
Première: 21 November 1874
Dernière: Inconnu
Mise en scène : ???? ????
Chorégraphie : ???? ????
Producteur :
Star(s) :

Version 3

Fledermaus (Die) (1876-12-Alhambra Theatre-London)

Type de série: Original London
Théâtre: Alhambra Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : 18 December 1876
Première: 18 December 1876
Dernière: Inconnu
Mise en scène : ???? ????
Chorégraphie : ???? ????
Producteur :
Star(s) :

Version 4

Fledermaus (Die) (1945-03-Palace Theatre-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Palace Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée :
Nombre : 412 représentations
Première Preview : 08 March 1945
Première: 08 March 1945
Dernière: Inconnu
Mise en scène : Bernard Delfont • Leontine Sagan
Chorégraphie : Wendy Toye
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Cyril Ritchard (Baron von Eisenstein), Ruth Naylor (Rosalinda), Peter Graves (Orlofsky), Bernard Clifton (Dr Falke), James Etherington (Alfred), Jay Laurier (Frosch)
Commentaires : On April 5th 1874 Vienna’s Theater an der Wien saw the premiere of “Die Fledermaus” with music by Johann Strauss II. It was based on a French play by Meilhac & Halevy and set to a German libretto by Karl Haffner & Richard Genee. It was soon recognised as the greatest of all Viennese operettas to date and it remains the golden standard by which all other operettas are measured even today.
By the end of that same year it had been performed in New York, and it first appeared in London at the Alhambra on December 18th 1876 in a rather heavily adapted version. In the early years of the 20th Century it began to appear in the repertoire of the world’s great opera houses, and was first performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1931.
In 1942 the famous German director, Max Reinhardt, staged a revival on Broadway under the title “Rosalinda”, and this was a triumph, running for 502 performances. This version, with musical arrangements by Erich Korngold was adapted for London by Austin Melford and Rudolf Bemauer - and was a great success, running for a year, closing on March 2nd 1946.

Version 5

Fledermaus (Die) (1946-08-Princes Theatre-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Shaftesbury Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : 08 August 1946
Première: 08 August 1946
Dernière: Inconnu
Mise en scène : Bernard Delfont • Leontine Sagan
Chorégraphie : Wendy Toye
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Commentaires longs: This was the same production which had ended its year long run at the Palace just five months earlier and had been on a highly successful provincial tour ever since. It was back in London for a six week season before returning to its tour. There had been a number of cast changes since the original production, and the orchestra was now conducted by Michael Collins and not Richard Tauber.

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