The Bat, Johann Strauss Jr.
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The Bat, Johann Strauss Jr.

The Bat is one of the most unsurpassed creations of not only the author, Johann Strauss Jr., but one of the most amazing operettas. According to unconfirmed rumors, Jean Offenbach prompted Strauss to write operettas. One day, while talking with the composer Offenbach accidentally remarked: “Why do you, dear Strauss, stop writing waltzes and start writing operettas?” They claim that Strauss liked the idea very much, and now we can enjoy the magnificent operettas written by the composer. The story of the creation of the operetta “The Bat” confirms that the path from the script to the play is sometimes difficult.

The operetta’s plot was based on the play Revelon (Eve Ball, or Clock with a Fight), the authors of which were famous playwrights Melyak and Halevi, who also wrote the script Carmen, a famous opera by Georges Bizet. Strauss really liked the script, so he wrote the operetta with great enthusiasm. And although he worked mainly at night, he finished it in record time – in 6 weeks or in 42 nights !!

The premiere of “Bat” took place on April 5, 1874. The bat is a musical film. It is not surprising, although history has many such examples in the world of music, the operetta did not cause an enthusiastic reception from the public. Strauss was not too disappointed, but many participants in the production counted on a warmer reception. A significant role in relation to the play was played by critics who gave not very high estimates of the operetta.

For example, the critic E. Hanslik, whose opinion was quite significant in Viennese society, called the operetta “a potpourri of waltz and half-hearted motifs”. The Bat really became a classic example of dance operetta. Almost all numbers were based on waltz or polka. But what the critic considered commonplace determined the fate of the work.

The triumphal procession of the operetta
The operetta received the only benevolent review in the newspaper “Morgenpost”, the author of which subtly noted that “it was possible to earn seasickness on the stall due to the audience swaying to the beat of magical sounds”.

Thus, the play was held 17 times and was removed from the repertoire. However, in June of that year, the “Bat” was a huge success in Berlin. Thanks to this triumph, the operetta returned to the Vienna stage, becoming the pearl of the Vienna operetta scene. Surprisingly, and perhaps not at all surprising, but this time the performance received encouraging reviews from critics.

The operetta “The Bat” still does not leave theater scenes, remaining the favorite musical work of its genre. The charm of her joyful melodies, their cheerful dance, is captivating with their festive life affirmation, and subtle humor and filigree irony, expertly inscribed in the storyline, delight and combine melodramatic and purely comedic styles. The music of this operetta is distinguished by a special atmosphere of joy, anticipation of the holiday, the expectation of new emotions … Strauss in it sings the ideals familiar to everyone – the warmth of a family hearth, devoted love, purity of thoughts and peace of mind. Unobtrusive and easy to remember music gives the viewer faith in true love, true beauty and true happiness, to which the heart and mind of each of us aspire.

The plot of the “Bat”
“Bat” is a set of practical jokes, witty lies and intertwined misunderstandings, which fall into the main characters, two friends – businessman Heinrich Eisenstein and director of the Falk Theater. One falls in love with a stranger, not realizing that under the mask of a bat hides Rosalind’s own wife; the other to Adele’s maid, despite the fact that he chuckles and makes fun of her desire to become an actress of his theater.

According to a court decision, Eisenstein should spend eight days in prison for insulting a policeman, but Falk brings invitations to the ball at Count Willenberg. Where is the prison going ?! Of course, this can wait! Aisenstein’s inconsolable wife, the beautiful Rosalind, sincerely worries about separation from her husband, there is also a servant Adele suspiciously unexpectedly asking, and the appearance of a loyal fan of Alfred makes the intrigue even more exciting. A carriage arrives to send Heinrich to prison. And what will Rosalind do? ..

Video of the operetta “The Bat”
The plot of the operetta “The Bat” was based on a real case in life when a man at a masquerade ball did not recognize his wife under a mask and was fascinated by a “beautiful stranger”. The plot is not new, but still relevant: sometimes you need to hide under a mask to be noticed by your own husband! And you need to have the feminine wisdom of Rosalind to get out of this piquant situation with dignity. And how the unfaithful husband will get out of it, the audience will know the operetta “The Bat”.

The movie “The Bat”
In 1978, director Jan Fried made the musical film of the same name at the Lenfilm studio, which premiered on March 4, 1979. Such wonderful actors as Yuri Solomin, Lyudmila Maksakova, Larisa Udovichenko, Vitaly Solomin, Oleg Vidov, Yuri Vasiliev, Igor Dmitriev and others.

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