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What happens in Die Fledermaus?

In our new production the story is moved from Vienna in the 19th century to the Norwegian cities of Bergen and Oslo in our own time. Here's parts of the plot, but some of it you'll have to wait to see to believe!

[Please note that the performances of Die Fledermaus in Grieghallen March 2024 will be in Norwegian, with no surtitles in English. And only the songs, not the dialogues, will have Norwegian surtitles.]

The leadup to the story is showed on screen during the ouverture: A group of friends calling themselves “The Fantastic Four” – Dahl, Malmberg and Blind are pulling a prank on their friend Falke, who has fallen asleep drunk. They dress him up as Batman and leave him in the foyer of his own firm, where he is discovered by his staff. Falke wants revenge on his friends, and this is what unfolds during the operetta.

We are in the luxurious apartment of the shady businessman Gabriel Malmberg (Eisenstein) in Oslo. Inside trading is his specialty. His wife Rosalinde is very occupied with her personal trainer Alfredo. The au pair Imelda (Adele) is as always busy caring for the two spoiled daughters of the married couple. Suddenly she receives a very exquisite invitation: She's invited to a pink-party by the Bergen based billionaire Karl-Maria Ulriken (called Orlofsky in the original from 1874). Ulriken is the richest and most famous person in Bergen, and admired by all. But how can Imelda manage to escape her duties to attend the party?

Simultaneously, at the headquarters of The Serious Fraud Office (Økokrim in Norwegian): Superintendent Frosch is frustrated, trying to catch business leaders who fraudulently keep millions from taxation. Frosch is from the in every way beautiful city of Bergen, but has to work in the morally depraved capital Oslo. His goal is to catch Malmberg and his sly and unscrupulous lawyer Blind. Unfortunately, the Head of the department, Frank, is for some reason not very keen on this idea. Frosch ignores this and sends a message to Malmberg that he is obliged to come in for an interview, or be arrested.

At home in the Malmberg residence his business buddies Falke and Dahl – together with the lawyer Blind – have arrived to cheer Malmberg up, and persuade him to join Ulriken's glorious party in Bergen, before he has to go to the interview. The travel should be no problem: The billionaire Ulriken has arranged for helicopters to fly all the guests in from Oslo.

The au pair Imelda fakes her aunt's illness to get time off and "borrows" one of the beautiful dresses from Rosalinde's closet, and is thus ready for the masquerade in Bergen! The two detectives, Frosch og Frank, go to Malmberg's house, but mistake the amorous personal trainer Alfredo for Malmberg - and end up arresting the wrong man.

Welcome to Karl-Maria Ulriken's pink party, in the marvellous city of Bergen! Ulriken's personal assistant, Ivan-Iwanka, greets the exited and disguised guests, amongst them also “The Fantastic Four”: Malmberg, Blind, Dahl – and the revengeful Falke.

Imelda also arrives, together with her friend Maya. They both pretend to be business women, although in real life they are both slaving for the nouveau rich in Oslo. Soon the host, Ulriken, makes a grand entrance. Frosch and Frank also sneak in, and are astonished at seeing so many fraudsters and tax evaders gathered in one place. Meanwhile Malmberg falls head over heals in love with a mysterious beauty, and has no clue that the woman he tries to seduce is his very own (and furious) wife Rosalinde. This is the revenge Falke had hoped for, the total exposure of his morally challenged friend. The party explodes with confusions, hidden identities and colourful chaos, whilst Falke – the brain behind it all in collaboration with Ulriken – rejoices.

It's the day after at the head quarters of The Serious Fraud Office (Økokrim). Frosch is tormented by the sad singing coming from the innocent Alfredo in the prison cell, and his boss Frank is still struggling with the aftereffects of the party.

Frosch is also bitterly regretting that he arrested all the guests at Ulriken's, and sent them with the night train to Oslo. Now all of them are queuing up to be interrogated. Every one of them try to hide their sweet and sour secrets, but in this finale of Die Fledermaus the hour of truth has come ... Just wait and see!

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