Johann Strauss Jr is also the author of 18 operettas. The Bat, however, is called his “operetta of operettas”. It is always performed at the Vienna Opera House on 31 December, as well as in other theatres around the world. The premiere of this elegant and witty comedy of manners took place on 5 April 1874 at the Teater an der Wien. The sources for the libretto were the farce The Prison by the German playwright Julius Benedicks and the French vaudeville New Year’s Eve by Mayak and Halévy. In The Bat, set to beautiful music, love intrigues swirl, secrets are revealed, revenges are plotted, identities are exchanged at the New Year’s masquerade ball. A musical ‘synopsis’ of what is to come is the Overture, which begins with a brilliant touche. In rapid succession, it parades the most vivid and important themes in operetta and cleverly intertwines them. A crowning role in the operetta mezzo-soprano repertoire is Prince Orlovsky. In the well-known Aria from Act II Ich lade gern mir Gäste ein (With pleasure I invite guests), the wealthy Russian aristocrat, host of the ball, reveals the national peculiarities of his character and his preoccupation with life.