The group was first performed at the Metropolitan in New York. Of the three, the last one gained the greates popularity, but Puccini's own favorite was said to be Suor Angelica. The story is quite simple. Seven years before the opera begins, Angelica had committed a sin which shamed her family and she had been banished to a convent. Since she arrived, she had been praying for word of her family.
Her aunt, a Princess, appears to explain that her parents have died and she has brought papers to sign.
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Angelica asks for news of her son and is told that he has died. The aria we hear today is her response to that sad news. Without your mother, my baby, you died. Your lips, without my kisses, Faded and grew old. Oh my baby, and your closed lovely eyes. She mixes a poisonous potion and drinks it.
But just then, she realizes that she has committed a mortal sin, and will never see her child again. She prays for forgiveness, and the Virgin appears with the child, who takes two steps toward Angelica, who falls dead at that moment. The structure of a Singspiel is similar to that of a Broadway musical, in that spoken dialogue is common.
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Recordings of Singspiele usually omit the spoken part, which makes it hard to follow the plot, especially, as in the case of Die Fledermaus , when there are characters who have NO singing parts, and sometimes long speeches. Often, foreign titles are translated to English even when the work is sung in the original language: we frequently see The Marriage of Figaro , and then hear it in Italian. The case of Die Fledermaus is the opposite. We use the German title even when it is sung in English. This isbecause it was thought that few people would go to see a musical called The Bat.
There is no vampire in The Bat. In fact, the title refers to an event which occurred before the curtain rises. Falke, a notary, had gone to a costume ball dressed as a bat. He drank too much and, when he passed out, his friends laid him out on the sidewalk so that he awoke in full costume to the derisive shouts of the school children.
Ever since then, he was jeered at as "Doctor Bat" wherever he went. The plot of the operetta pivots on Dr. Falke's wish to get even with Eisenstein, chief perpetrator of the joke. The work is full of mistaken identities as all the participants show up at a ball in disguise, and each reveals what he or she shouldn't to the wrong person. Eisenstein's maid, Adele, goes to the ball disguised as a real lady, and the Marquis mistakes her for his maid. Of course, she IS his maid, but she is dressed very elegantly, in Eisenstein's wife's gown. Everyone tells him he is very un-gallant to tell her that she looks like a maid.
Adele then admonishes him for being so unobservant.
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Let me therefore advise you to look at people more closely. My hand is too tiny to behold, my foot too small and graceful! My speech, so refined, my dainty waist and elegant figure, you'll never find a lady's maid who has these things! She describes her beauty, her perfect Grecian profile, her shapeliness, all punctuated by her laughter. How could the Marquis have mistaken a person like her for a mere maid?
Richard Strauss was the sone of a well-known horn player and composer. His father, Franz Strauss was better known as a performer than as a composer in his own time. He played first horn in the Munich Court Orchestra, and was one of the greates horn players of all time. The elder Strauss played Wagner beautifully, but he didn't like that music.
He was very conservative in his musical tastes, and it is surprising that he played Wagner's music so well, while he disapproved of it.
Die Fledermaus (The Bat; operetta), RV503
He apparently was a rude curmudgeon. Wagner is reported to have remarked, "Strauss is a detestable fellow, but when he plays the horn, you can't be angry with him. The young Richard grew up developing a great love for the horn, and eventually grew to admire Wagner's music greatly In fact, Franz Strauss never fully appreciated the compositions of his son. Commenting on Richard's Symphonia domestica , he said that "It's like having your pants full of June bugs.
Richard wrote this concerto at a point in his life before he became enamored of Wagner's music, and there are reasons to suspect that he intended to dedicate it to his father. Instead, he dedicated it to Oscar Franz, another younger horn player. His father never played it, although he did read through it while Richard played the orchestral part on a piano.
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The elder Strauss complained that it had "too many high notes," and would be difficult to play. It must be pointed out that in the days of Franz Strauss, the horn had no valves. For such instruments, composers often took advantage of the fact that the harmonics are more closely spaced in the upper register, but still that makes a valveless horn hard to play. In one of Bach's pieces written for a valveless trumpet, a player of that instrument couldn't be found, so a saxophone was substituted. In that high register, nobody noticed the difference!
In Richard's day, the horns had valves, and it may be that before publishing this piece some alterations were made to take advantage of that development. His father's cool reception of that work might have persuaded Strauss to alter it and dedicate it to a more appreciative performer. The elder Strauss said it was too difficult.
Actually, it was impossible, because Richard had specified a "Waldhorn," which is valveless. But the work, as written, cannot be played on such an instrument. I might be reading a good deal into that strange specification, but it seems possible that Richard was writing a piece for his father, who played valveless horns, and when he met with rejection, he published it for the modern horn, and re-thought the dedication.
The concerto is in the traditional three movements, but there is no complete gap between the first two Allegro-Andante. There is the customary gap between the second and third movements Allegro-Rondo. The performer's agility is certainly put to the test in the exhilarating finale. James Sochinski hold a B. He was Director of Bands at Virginia Tech from to , during which time he shaped the band, both musically and visually, establishing innovations which have become traditional.
The role of Eisenstein was originally written for a tenor , but is nowadays frequently sung by a baritone. The role of Orlofsky is a trouser role , usually performed by a mezzo-soprano , sometimes by a countertenor and occasionally — an octave lower — by a tenor. The party of Act II allows productions to insert a variety of additional entertainment acts, such as music, comedy, or dance. The lengthy drunken soliloquy by Frosch a comedy speaking role in Act III also permits variety in performance.
Gabriel von Eisenstein, a Viennese man-about-town, has been sentenced to eight days in prison for insulting an official, partially due to the incompetence of his attorney, Dr. Adele, Eisenstein's maid, receives a forged letter, purportedly from her sister who is in the company of the ballet, but actually written by Falke, inviting her to Prince Orlofsky's ball.
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Together, they recall a practical joke which Eisenstein played on Falke a few years ago, for which Falke is secretly planning a light-hearted revenge in kind. Frank, the governor of the prison, arrives to take Eisenstein to jail, and finds Alfred instead. In order not to compromise Rosalinde, Alfred agrees to pretend to be Eisenstein and to accompany Frank. It transpires that Falke, with Prince Orlofsky's permission, is using the ball as a way of getting revenge on Eisenstein. Some time before, after a costume-party, Eisenstein had abandoned Falke, very drunk and dressed in a bat-costume, in the center of town, exposing him to ridicule the next day.
As part of his scheme, Falke has invited Frank, Adele, and Rosalinde to come the ball, all concealing their identities as well. Rosalinde pretends to be a masked Hungarian countess, Eisenstein goes by the name "Marquis Renard," Frank is "Chevalier Chagrin," and Adele, who has borrowed one of Rosalinde's dresses without permission, pretends she is an actress.
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Eisenstein is introduced to Adele, but is confused as to who she really is because of her striking resemblance to his maid. Frank arrives. He and Eisenstein, who are both posing as Frenchmen, attempt to conceal their identities by repeating common French phrases to each other, to Orlofsky's great amusement. Since neither actually knows French, both are fooled. As the party progresses, they both experience alcohol-induced good-feeling and manly camaraderie for each other. Then Falke introduces the masked Rosalinde to the company. She succeeds in extracting a valuable watch from her husband's pocket, something which she can use in the future as evidence of his impropriety.
Note: The "Champagne song", which is sung by the entire ensemble, should not be confused with the baritone aria "Fin ch' han dal vino" from Don Giovanni , which is often called the "Champagne aria". The next morning they all find themselves at the prison where the confusion increases and is compounded by the jailer, Frosch, who has profited by Warden Frank's absence to become gloriously drunk. Alfred, still in jail in Eisenstein's place, irritates the other prisoners by singing operatic arias. Meanwhile, Alfred asks Frosch to summon Dr.
Not to mention the immortal music of the great Johann Strauss. Enjoy the concert via live stream! A genius on the piano keys and electronic buttons: Nils Frahm was in charge of the Elbphilharmonie programme for three days. Visitor Information. Customer Account Logout. Customer Account. Deutsch English. Facebook Youtube Instagram Twitter. All Stories.
Auf Facebook teilen Auf Twitter teilen Send by email. The Story Gabriel von Eisenstein has been sentenced to a few days in prison for insulting a government official, and his friend the notary Dr Falke persuades him to be merry one more time before he goes behind bars — at Prince Orlofsky's ball.
Prinz Orlofsky, Act 2. The Background But for all the superficial fun and games, the operetta was written during a time of social tension.