Die Fledermaus is one of the few operatic works to which the phrase "never a dull moment" can be truthfully applied. From the explosive opening of the famous overture - reminiscent of a volley of champagne corks - through the surging energy of the "Fledermaus Waltz" and the many comic numbers, of which the accelerando trio is the finest, up to such huge concerted numbers as the "Duidu" finale to Act II, this is an operetta which almost incarnates nostalgia.
Thomson Smillie and David Timson infuse their exploration of Die Fledermaus with as much life as the operetta itself. The most rewarding and memorable extracts are included, and the whole piece is tantalizingly introduced - a trip to see it has to be the next step! Timson begins, "'Nostalgia', as the saying goes, 'may not be what it used to be,' but thank goodness we still have Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus!"
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Scottish music lover Thomson Smillie has made a career out of energetically sharing that love, whether he's producing operas or sailing around the world on elite, educational cruise ships in order to lecture rapt audiences on a libretto's finer points. In this installment of Smillie's Opera Explained series, cultivated actor David Timson discusses Die Fledermaus ("The Bat") by Johann Strauss II. The operetta premiered in 1874 and quickly became a sort of "second national anthem" to the Viennese. Listeners can practically see the ballrooms in which Strauss' dance music was performed while Timson gives his warm, guided tour of 19th-century music in Europe.
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