Last updated January 25th 2016
Get ready for a little slice of Vienna, right here in Tel Aviv! The Israel Opera is treating us to a glittery new production of Johann Strauss’ operetta Die Fledermaus, brought to you by the rightful heirs of operetta, the Budapest Operetta Theatre, and one special Israeli guest star.
Operetta is opera’s slightly misbehaved younger sister. While opera is busy preparing for the bar, operetta is doing shots at a party school. Die Fledermaus (The Bat) is a perfect example – if Il Trovatore, recently staged at the Israel Opera, is a revenge tragedy, this is a revenge comedy. Written by Johann Strauss II, the ultimate waltz composer of all time, it should really not be heard sitting down, but we can console ourselves by feasting our eyes on the sets and costumes.
The operetta introduces a colorful cast of characters, all trying to lie and double-cross each other in their own way. The events are set in motion by the masked ball at the house of Prince Orlovsky, which is in fact only a ploy for revenge orchestrated by Falke (“The Bat” of the title, referring to his costume). Falke’s friend (or rather, frenemy) Eisenstein is being sent to prison for a week after insulting an officer – but he secretly plans to stop at the ball on the way. His wife Rosalinde pretends that she has to go away, but she too is planning to attend the ball, without telling Eisenstein. A comedy of errors ensues, culminating in an utterly crazy scene in the prison.
Now for our surprise guest star: Fledermaus features a speaking role, the intoxicated jailer Frosch, that is sometimes given to a particularly awesome actor. As a special treat, this time it will be comedian Israel Katorza. Katorza, to our knowledge, will not be singing, but the artists of the Budapest Operetta Theatre will, and they live and breathe operetta. Fledermaus boasts some incredibly showy music, to fit the craziness of the plot. And did we mention the waltzes??
For more details and to purchase tickets, visit the Israel Opera website at www.israel-opera.co.il.
Performances: Thursday, February 11th at 20:00; Friday, February 12th at 13:00; Saturday, February 13th at 20:30; Monday, February 15th at 20:00 (backstage tour at 18:30; Talkback after the show); Tuesday, February 16th at 20:00 (backstage tour at 18:30; Talkback after the show); Wednesday, February 17th at 20:00 (backstage tour at 18:30); Thursday, February 18th at 20:00 (Talkback after the show); Friday, February 19th at 13:00; Saturday, February 20th at 20:30.