What do you get when you add opera, an orchestra, acting and dance? An operetta, and that's exactly what Die Fledermaus is. It's also the German translation for "The Bat".
Composed by Johann Strauss Junior, with a live orchestra, period costumes from the 1800s, singing, waltzing and a gay and witty libretto, this joyful work of genius has not been performed in Melbourne for nearly a decade.
In the last act at the country jail the next morning, the revenge of the bat, all is forgiven and the opera ends with more champagne and revelry.
Die Fledermaus was my very first operetta experience held at Darebin Arts Centre in Preston. It is a story of revenge, deception, infidelity, disguises, imprisonment and waltzes! But also dramatic, intense, witty and humorous.
This demands the best bona fide opera singers in this challenging performance. Multi-talented soprano Lana Lowry plays Rosalinda, Eisenstein's beautiful wife. She began her singing career in musical theatre. There is also Jane Magao, who plays the parlour maid Adele, A Melbourne based soprano, she has won many prestigious scholarships and a finalist in the 2018 National Liederfest.
The charming and seducing Alfredo, played by Stephen Carolane, and Finn Gilheany (Gabriel von Eisenstein) are both tenors and have performed in many challenging roles.
Cast, accompanied by a full ensemble includes:
LANA LOWRY as Rosalinda FINN GILHEANY as Gabriel von Eisenstein
JANE MAGAO as Adele
RYAN HAYWARD as Dr Falke
RON PIDCOCK as Frosch, the Jailer
MARISSA ECONOMO as Prince Orlovsky
STEPHEN CAROLANE as Alfredo
NADIA MIGLIARDI as Ida
ANDREW MCGRAIL as Frank
RON MACK as Dr Blind
Musical Direction by ALAN COOK
Staging and Direction by ROBERT RAY
It will be one of the highlights of the Melbourne opera-going year in 2019. So come and drink some champagne, champagne, champagne! with me!