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Full of fizz and subtle humor, "Die Fledermaus" (The Bat) has become a
staple of New Year's Eve programming in many opera houses around the
world. In this sparkling production, director Otto Schenk has freed it from
the conventional bonds of the theater, broken it up into fully telegenic,
whirling visual sequences, and heightened it with the tumultuous gaiety
prescribed by Strauss. Act II, often a stiffly staged ball, has at last
become one great hurly-burly, a huge festival, an orgy of swaying figures -
drunken or otherwise intoxicated. Foremost among them are the frenzied
Eberhard Wächter as Eisenstein, the delicious Renate Holm as Adele and the
noble Gundula Janowitz as the long-suffering Rosalinde, who does a
magnificent gypsy dance. Competing for the title of show-stealer are fabled
Bayreuth tenor Wolfgang Windgassen as Prince Orlofsky and actor-director
Otto Schenk himself as Frosch. Karl Böhm leads the Vienna Philharmonic and
the Chorus of the Vienna State Opera in this spirited recording.
||Johann Strauß Jr.
||Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
||Gundula Janowitz, Eberhard Waechter, Renate Holm, Erich Kunz, Wolfgang Windgassen, Waldemar Kmentt, Otto Schenk
||Chor der Wiener Staatsoper