Johann Strauss
Die Fledermaus

Operetta in two parts
Taken off in 2013
Conductors Valery Kritskov, Vasily Valitov
Stage Director and Set Designer Michiel Dijkema
Costume Designer Claudia Damm
Lighting Designer Bas Berensen
Literary adaptation of the dialogues by Arkady Arkanov
Running time: 2 hours 50 minutes with one intermission
Premiered on 29 April 2009
Recommended for 16+
The Novaya Opera Theatre has staged Strauss’s operetta Die Fledermaus. The Dutch stage director and set designer Michiel Dijkema has defined his objective in the following way: “It often happens that when you ask people who have just seen a production of “Die Fledermaus” why, in fact, it is called so, they find difficulty in replying. I would like spectators to know it exactly after they have seen my production. In my version of the operetta the central figure is Doctor Falke. Dressed in red, he appears before the audience as an evil genius, who, nursing a grievance, has made a plan for revenge and implemented it under our eyes. He takes vengeance on his former friend Eisenstein. A few years ago the two friends, heavily drunk, were going through a park after a masked ball: Eisenstein was wearing a butterfly costume and Falke was in a bat costume. Eisenstein decided to play a joke on his friend and left Falke out in the park on a bench. The next morning, Falke was surrounded by all the Sunday promenaders and the worse embarrassment was that he had to go home in his bat costume. Since then he has been called Doctor Bat. Falke has never forgiven his friend and made a careful plan for revenge. We will know if he has got his plan implemented”.

Michiel Dijkema and his colleague, German costume designer Claudia Damm, have sought to project an image that would be historical and, at the same time, close to the present-day people; therefore the male characters are wearing tails, while the girls are dressed in tutus. These costumes, familiar to everyone, have not practically changed over the last century and a half. The set design is ingenious and spectacular. The three spaces in which the action takes place – the dressing room, the ball room and the prison – are variations of the same room. A special, surrealistic effect is created in the ball scene when all things are topsy-turned, with the chandelier on the floor and dummies hanging from the ceiling, resembling a group of bats! In store for us are Hungarian goulash, cooked right on the stage, sparkling champagne, “the Russian roulette” and dances with ballerinas. As well as charming melodies, witticisms, piquant situations, eccentric proceedings, a dramatic upturn and… a happy end.

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