Music by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)
Operetta in three acts (1874)
Libretto by Karl Haffner and Richard Genée, based on the short story Le Reveillon by Henri Melhac and Ludovic Halévy
Duration: 3 hours, 2 breaks
The Show is performed in Romanian
Vienna, 1874. In the house of Rosalinda and Gabriel Eisenstein, the atmosphere is disturbed by the fact that Eisenstein must go to prison immediately, being sentenced to 8 days in prison for hitting a police officer. His friend, Falke, advises him, however, to postpone his presentation to prison for the next day, as Prince Orlovski invited them both to the ball that was taking place that very evening in his salons, where last winter the two friends were the heroes of a unforgettable farce: Falke, dressed as a bat, had been forced by Eisenstein to return home, thus disguised, to the amusement of passers-by. Now Falke has the opportunity to take revenge and that is why he insisted that Eisenstein attend this ball. The invitation is too tempting to be refused and, thus, Eisenstein decides to go to the princely ball, and at dawn he will go straight to prison. Of course Rosalinda doesn’t need to know anything.
Eisenstein leaves, leaving Rosalinda extremely amazed by the elegant costume with which her husband shows up at the “prison”.
After her husband leaves, Rosalinda receives her former worshiper, Alfred, who settles comfortably in Eisenstein’s house. After a while, the director of the prison, Frank, appears, who comes to arrest Eisenstein. But Alfred, in order not to compromise Rosalinda, introduces himself as her husband, and so he has to follow Frank to prison. Left alone, Rosalinda receives from a “benevolent anonymous” – who is none other than Falke – a letter announcing that her husband is “spending his arrest at the Orlovsky Ball.” Intrigued by what she finds out, Rosalinda decides to take revenge.
At Prince Orlovsky’s ball, the characters of the farce now meet, each hiding under a mask and under a different name so as not to be recognized.
And now Eisenstein strives to win the heart of his own wife, and the prince is enchanted by the grace of a subnet, which has become an artist for a night. The atmosphere becomes more and more lively, and the farce more and more outlined and full of fun. It will also contribute to the close friendship between the director of the prison, Frank – who became ad hoc Viscount Chagrin – and his future detainee, Eisenstein. As a skilful director, Falke increasingly draws Orlovsky into the nets of this “surprise,” leading the vain prince, through a bet, to say that he cannot be mistaken in appreciating and recognizing noble appearances. The outcome will take place the next day, following the decision of everyone to visit, at dawn in prison, Eisenstein, who will be forced to bear the consequences of the bet.
In prison, everyone will regain their true identity. Pretending to be Alfred’s lawyer, Eisenstein takes advantage of Guardian Frosch’s drunkenness and asks to see the prisoner. When Alfred appears, Eisenstein becomes increasingly puzzled by the mystery of this confusion. In the presence of Rosalinda, who came to free her worshiper, as well as the arrival of Adela together with Prince Orlovsky’s guests, they will finally clarify things, revealing also the meaning of the farce about which Falke confesses that he was, as revenge, its author.