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This Day in History - April 5

The opera 'Die Fledermaus' premiered.
Feature | April 5, 2017 | By Jonathan Shipley


On this day in Vienna, 1874, Johann Strauss II's operetta, Die Fledermaus, premiered. It's been part of the regular opera repertoire, the world over, ever since.

The story centers on a masked ball, given by a Russian prince. It brings together all the main characters in various disguises. The three-act opera goes from boudoir to ballroom to jail, giving it plenty of opportunities for humor. 

The Seattle Opera has performed it several times during its existence. You can go back in time to see some of those performances, and see vintage Encore Arts Programs, here. The San Francisco Opera has also performed it several times. Look at their archive of the show, here.

Johann Strauss II was known, during his lifetime, as "The Waltz King." He wrote over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles and other types of dance music. He's most known for Die Fledermaus and the waltz "The Blue Danube." 

From the opera, "The Champagne Song":

An aria:

The full opera: