Where’s the Champagne?

It’s really hard to know where to start with Hans Neuenfels’ Die Fledermaus.  It’s a prodcuction that enraged the more conventional patrons when it opened at the Salzburg Festival in 2001.  It even provoked a “false pretences” lawsuit!  There is so much going on that it almost seems to call for a catalogue raisonnée of the various scenes though one fears that would actually be both tedious and unhelpful.  Let’s try instead to explore it thematically.  Neuenfels takes very considerable liberties with the libretto.  A lot of dialogue is cut, a lot is added and numerous non-canonical characters are inserted.  That’s just a start.

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