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DIE FLEDERMAUS Selections St.Petersburg 2023 Sergei Semishkur, Maria Bayankina, Antonina Vesenina

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Unknown
  • Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
  • Subtitles: nosubs  
  • This Recording is NOT AVAILABLE from a proper commercial or public source

Quote from Mariinsky:

Die Fledermaus appears on theatre playbills most frequently at New Year, and it is rare for a New Year gala concert at any major opera house or philharmonic hall not to feature the overture from this dazzling operetta in the programme. The very first sounds of Die Fledermaus – three explosive chords as impressive as corks flying out of bottles of champagne – draw the audience into this whirlwind of festivities.

The waltz, wine and totally unrestrained merriment reign supreme in Die Fledermaus. Even the prison here is joyful rather than fearsome – people enter it almost willingly and there continue to celebrate. The leitmotif of the entire operetta comes with the words from Alfred and Rosalinde’s duet – “Happy is he who passes by grief and cares.” “Easy listening” it may well be, but it is by no means easy to perform: both female leads demand virtuoso operatic control of the coloratura technique.

Russian audiences will be familiar with Die Fledermaus first and foremost thanks to the 1979 Lenfilm studios’ comedy with the Solomin brothers. In the film, the female vocals were provided by Larisa Shevchenko and Sofia Yalysheva, soloists of the Kirov Theatre. The text by Nikolai Erdman and Mikhail Volpin (1947), which provided the basis for the film script and for the current Mariinsky Theatre production, departs from the original libretto and offers an essentially separate and new opus, albeit retaining the majority of the characters.

And yet however much the plot peripeteia may differ, in any version and in any interpretation what remains unaltered is the dizzying and intoxicating music of Strauss. As critics noted following the premiere, it “enters the bloodstream through the ears and flows down to the feet, and even the most lazy listener unwittingly begins to nod his head, bestir himself and start tapping his feet. (…) One might well develop a good case of seasickness – the whole of the stalls ‘rocks’ so much from those magical waves of music that rise up from the orchestra pit.”

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