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IS there another show so completely identified with New Year's Eve?

Die Fledermaus is the only one.

Well, this year, New York's Metropolitan Opera is premiering a new translation of the classic French play with score by Richard Strauss. Directed by a guy who's no newcomer to farce: and if ever there were an operetta that qualifies as farce, Die Fledermaus is it.

From 1973 (Joan Sutherland):

What The Times is saying:

As the Metropolitan Opera prepares to mount an opulent, Klimt-inspired new production of “Die Fledermaus” on New Year’s Eve, the director, Jeremy Sams, was in a subterranean rehearsal room working with the cast on the special challenge this operetta has posed for more than a century: how to keep its Champagne effervescence from going flat whenever Johann Strauss’s intoxicating waltzes stop, and the spoken dialogue begins.

“Comedy gold,” Mr. Sams would say encouragingly when a scene came together. “Comedy gold.”

The mission to bring the funny back to “Fledermaus” was proceeding on several fronts.

More Joan Sutherland:

(I'm no expert here, but I think this is the scene where Eisenstein is trying to woo his own wife, whom he doesn't recognize b/c she's wearing a mask. As if that soprano weren't distinguishing enough: but then, it's operetta, which makes even less sense than Grand Opera.)

And then there's this:

The goal for this new “Fledermaus” was not to squeeze as many thigh slappers and modern allusions as possible between the waltzes and polkas, but rather to let its comedy flow naturally from the oft-rewritten operetta, and the French comedy it was based on.

“It’s brilliantly put together, and that’s what I’m trying to highlight,” said Mr. Sams, who wrote and devised the Baroque pastiche “The Enchanted Island” at the Met two years ago and who directed Michael Frayn’s farce “Noises Off” on Broadway.

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