Classic "Die Fledermaus" debuts at Bolshoi

2010-03-24 09:05 BJT


Renowned Bolshoi theater has surprised music lovers and critics by staging operetta for the first time in its history. The theater chose the classic "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss, for the experiment.

Renowned Bolshoi theater has surprised music lovers and critics by staging operetta for the first time in its history.
Renowned Bolshoi theater has surprised music lovers and critics by staging 
operetta for the first time in its history.

Die Fledermaus was first shown in 1874 at Vienna's Opera House and did not go over well. But later performances were a great success. The operetta has become one of the most popular, and is frequently performed by the world's best opera houses.

It's been performed often by theatres across Russia. But the Bolshoi new production director Vasily Barkhatov considers the artistic quality of these performances appalling and says "Die Fledermaus" deserves better.

The 26-year-old director Barkhatov has already staged five plays at the Mariinsky Theatre. He transfers the action from the 19th Century Vienna to the late 20th Century. All the twists and turns take place on a luxurious cruise liner, "Strauss".

German conductor Christoph-Mathias Mueller makes his debut at the Bolshoi in the production.

Christoph-Mathias Mueller said, "This piece, if you want, is a 'serious' operetta, it's a 'large operetta' or a 'small opera' in that sense, but the difficulties stay the same or you could even say sometimes are harder in an operetta because an operetta has to have the same nobbles in the execution at the same part of performance."

This operetta is a brilliant combination of merry and inventive plot and a genius, spirited music. Despite its seeming lightness, it demands a great amount of virtuosity from the singers.

No matter how the critics rate the premiere, the audience will definitely enjoy the beautiful music, merry plot and stylish and original settings.

Editor: Liu Fang | Source: