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SOMMERFEST 2014 MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA
july 26
Opera Finale:
Die Fledermaus
Sommerfest
appears to be his wife’s maid Adele dressed up in one
of Rosalinde’s outfits, but Adele exploits the situation
to ask rhetorically if she could really be just a maid if
she is dressed so elegantly, and if she has such soft
hands, fine features and refined speech. Because of
the frequent laughs that punctuate this delightful aria,
it has become known appropriately as “The Laughing
Aria.” Eisenstein brandishes a watch, intent on seducing
a Hungarian countess (really his wife in disguise; she
recognizes him, but not vice-versa), which leads to a
delightful duet, at the end of which she manages to
snap the watch out of his hand. (This will have serious
repercussions in Act III.) When challenged as to her
ethnic background, Rosalinde “proves” she is Hungarian
by singing the Csárdás “Voice of My Homeland,” the
first part passionately nostalgic, the second evocative of
fiery dance steps. Orlofsky proposes a toast, and all sing
the “Champagne Chorus.” Everyone gets drunk, they all
join in with the dancing, and the act closes on a note of
high merriment around 6 a.m. Frank and Eisenstein, still
unknown to each other, stumble out the door headed for
the jailhouse.
Act III —
Now, in high contrast to the glittering party,
we are in the jailhouse where Alfred (still assumed to be
Eisenstein) is locked up. Prison doesn’t seem to have
dampened his spirits, however, for he continues to sing
his lungs out. The seemingly complicated events of this
act bring us—eventually—to the realization that the whole
escapade of Act II (well, most of it anyway!) was just
one big set-up by The Bat (Dr. Falke) to get his revenge
on Eisenstein for the embarrassment he caused Falke
after the masquerade ball three years ago. Just one of
the many complications involves Rosalinde’s attempt to
get Alfred
out
of jail before her husband is put
in
. Alfred,
Rosalinde and Eisenstein (disguised as the lawyer Blind—
why? don’t ask!) engage in a heated trio, “To Judge His
Expression,” trying to sort things out. Alfred’s attempted
seduction of Rosalinde wasn’t part of Falke’s plan, but
this is glossed over. One by one, every character we have
met so far, plus a few new ones, makes an appearance.
With a rousing refrain of the “Champagne Chorus,”
Die Fledermaus
flitters to its fantastic finale.
Program notes and synopsis by
Robert Markow
.
The party at Prince Orlofsky’s: a performance of
Die Fledermaus
, Covent Garden, 1983.
1...,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44 46,47,48,49,50,51,52
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