The original literary source for Die Fledermaus was Das Gefängnis (The Prison), a farce by German playwright Julius Roderich Benedix that premiered in Berlin in 1851. On 10 September 1872 a three-act French vaudeville play by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, Le Réveillon, loosely based on the Benedix farce, opened at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal. Meilhac and Halévy had provided several successful libretti for Offenbach and Le Réveillon later formed the basis for the 1926 silent film So This Is Paris, directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
Production Team: Stage Director Galina Tarasova Musical Director Evgeny Khokhlov Set Designer Boris Anushin Choreographer Sergey Gritsay
Alfred sings a serenade to Rosalinde, heard by none but the maid Adele. Alfred wants to visit Rosalinde later that night and bribes the maid with an invitation to a ball at Prince Orlofsky’s. Desperate to go there, Adele invents improbable excuses, but her mistress is implacable. Heinrich Eisenstein arrives and tells his wife that he is to spent 8 days in prison, because he has shot a forester in a private forest. He cannot explain why he came there, because in fact he was cheating on his wife. He produces a heap of lies. His friend Falke comes just in time to help him out. While Rosalinde leaves to get her husband ready for the jail, Falke offers Eisenstein to postpone his surrender and first attend the ball at Orlofsky’s. Faking grief, Eisenstein says goodbye to his wife and leaves. Rosalinde receives Alfred, who professes her love to her. Presently Frank the prison governor comes to arrest Eisenstein. Caught in an intimate moment, Alfred has to pretend he is Eisenstein and go to jail.
The ball at Prince Orlofsky’s. Adele, Eisenstein, Frank are all there in disguise. Rosalinda is incognito, in a bat mask. Eisenstein falls for the unknown beauty and allows her to take his prized pocket watch. After the ball Frank comes to the prison and listens to the Jailer’s report. Both are drunk and try hard to get disclosed as such. Eisenstein comes to serve his 8 days. But there is already a Heinrich Eisenstein imprisoned! Blind arrives, summoned to defend the false Eisenstein. The real Eisenstein strips the lawyer from his mantle, wig, and glasses, and interrogates Alfred and Rosalinde, who also came there straight from the ball. At last he discloses himself and accuses Rosalinde of infidelity. Rosalinde takes out Eisenstein’s watches she took from him at the ball. Eisenstein is ruined! He was trying to cheat on his wife with… herself! He pleads to forgive him. The rest of the party arrive, including Prince Orlovsky. He tries to explain what has happened. Of course, it was all because of champagne!