Johann Strauss had already become famous for his dance music, most notably his waltzes, and Die Fledermaus is one of his most famous operettas, often included in seasons as a holiday special. Originally a German play by Julius Roderich Benedix called Das Geflangnis (The Prison). Another version of the play was a French version by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy that was performed as a French vaudeville. This translation was translated into German by Karl Haffner, to be performed as a play. Richard Genée then stepped in with Strauss to adapt this French version into the operetta, but setting

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