An operetta

On May 9th 1873, the stock market in the waltzing city Vienna crashed with such force that the depression caused the mood in all social classes to sink to an all-time low. Just a few days before this Black Friday, the world fair was opened with enormously high expectations on the grounds of the Prater in the Donau metropolis, which was to suffer from the cholera in mid-summer of this year. At the end of October, it ended as a true economic failure.

But precisely because “happy are they who forget what can’t be changed”, because one has always danced on the ruins of the day and fantastic festivities were celebrated in front of the stage backdrops of decline, Johann Strauß was able to put “The Bat” to music in the first echo of these catastrophes.

Electronic banners announce the dropping stock market indices, and as a climax of the celebration at Orlofsky’s, money is burned in huge amounts in a garbage container. At the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, director Christian Pade places Johann Strauß’ Vienna operetta in contemporary Berlin: an apartment kitchen in the first act, a disco in the second and a very artificial prison with a horizontal rotation of the kitchen’s contents in the third act.

The premiere took place at the Staatsoper Berlin unter den Linden on November 21st 2009.


“Martin Stiefermann’s MS Schrittmacher troupe are both well or poorly received by everyone because: they are the best at conveying how boring it is when young people are invited to a Hypo-Bank party where bank bureaucrats who are celebrating their final leisure activity on company cost then get to “accept” and “grope” them… and yes, it is obvious that these impolite street kids simply hate this whole conservative shit, so they then pretend to dance polka and make every effort to conform to a prefabricated nursing home taste – but the truth is, they would prefer to send the whole horde of vermin to kingdom come…/ Was the storm of boos just a little example of intolerant sensibility of the worst kind in the Paulicksaal? I think so!” (André Sokolowski, Kultur Extra)


Musical director: Zubin Mehta
Director: Christian Pade
Choreography: Martin Stiefermann
Scenery and costumes: Alexander Lintl
Lighting: Olaf Freese
Choir Eberhard Friedrich
Dramaturgy: Oliver Binder, Katharina Winkler
Singing, Dance, Performance: Martin Gantner, Silvana Dussmann, Jochen Schmeckenbecher, Stella Grigorian, Stephan Rügamer, Roman Trekel, Florian Hoffmann, Christine Schäfer, Helene Gras, Michael Maertens, Johanna Lemke, Annet Gurtler, Raisa Kröger, Antje Rose, Naomi Damour, Caroline Meyer Picard, Jon Buckles, Nicky Vanoppen, Florian Bücking, Jeoren Mosselmann, Krzystof Raczkowski, Justin Kennedy, Roberto Morales, Challenge Gumbodote

With the Staatskapelle Berlin, Staatsopernchor and MS Schrittmacher