Music: Fledermaus

Without Fizz Strauss's bubbly operetta falls flat at the Met

Everything about mid-19th century Vienna was larger than life, from the caloric content of the pastries at Demel to the Emperor Franz Josef's mustaches. For its new Die Fledermaus, televised by PBS on New Year's Eve, the Metropolitan Opera has constructed outsize rooms in Johann Strauss's idealized waltzing city with such vivid realism that they could be sold today as luxury condominiums. Eisenstein's residence comes equipped with a spacious sun porch; Prince Orlofsky's pleasure palace boasts both a grand foyer and a palm-court refectory that make Maxim's look understated. When it comes to grandeur, Otto Schenk and Gunther Schneider-Siemssen's magnum of...

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