Monday, November 4, 2013

Sarasota Opera's "Die Fledermaus" Hits the Stage!

"Walk, don't run, to get your tickets to this life-affirming show." - Richard Storm, The Herald Tribune
"This is an enjoyable, fresh Fledermaus..." - June LeBell, The Observer

"Hilarious and delightful" - Martin Clear, Bradenton Herald

Sarasota Opera opened it's 55th season on November 1st with a revival of the company's production of Johann Strauss, Jr.'s Die Fledermaus.  Below is the opera synopsis accompanied by photos from the production to give you a glimpse into the show.  

Remaining performances are November 5th, 7th, 13th and 15th.  Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (941) 328-1300 or online at 
The home of Rosalinda and Gabriel von Eisenstein, near Vienna

Soprano Angela Mortellaro as Adele
A man’s voice is heard serenading from the street as Adele, Rosalinda’s chambermaid, reads an invitation to attend Prince Orlovsky’s grand party. Rosalinda refuses Adele’s request for the night off, since Eisenstein, her husband, is scheduled to begin a jail sentence that very evening. The serenader returns; it is Alfred, Rosalinda’s former admirer, who obtains a promise that he may visit Rosalinda later that night.

Soprano Danielle Walker as Rosalinda, Adele's employer

Tenor Joshua Kohl as Alfred, Rosalinda's lover
Baritone Sean Anderson as Eisenstein
Baritone Matthew Hanscom as Dr. Falke

Eisenstein enters, furious with his lawyer Dr. Blind whose incompetence has lengthened his stay behind bars. Dr. Falke arrives to invite Eisenstein to stop at Orlovsky’s party on his way to jail and Eisenstein, anticipating a fun evening ahead, agrees to attend. When Eisenstein goes off to dress, Rosalinda decides that with her husband away and Alfred at hand, Adele should not stay at home after all.

When Adele and Eisenstein leave Alfred returns to seduce Rosalinda. Frank, the warden of the prison, arrives to take Eisenstein into custody but mistakes Alfred for Rosalinda’s husband. Fearing a scandal, Rosalinda persuades Alfred to protect her reputation by pretending to be Eisenstein.

Baritone Steven Condy as Frank, the Warden

Prince Orlovsky’s villa

The party is hitting its stride when Adele arrives. Falke promises Orlovsky an amusing comedy called “The Revenge of Dr. Fledermaus.” As soon as Eisenstein is introduced as a Frenchman, “Marquis Renard,” Falke writes a note inviting Rosalinda to the party. 

Mezzo soprano Blythe Gaissert as Prince Orlovsky

Eisenstein and Adele recognize each other, but Adele laughs off his comment that she resembles his wife’s chambermaid. Prison warden Frank is announced as “Chevalier Chagrin.” 

A masked Hungarian countess (in reality the disguised Rosalinda) arrives. 

Smitten by the mysterious noblewoman, Eisenstein promises her his chiming watch if she will unmask, but Rosalinda manages to steal the timepiece away from her husband without revealing her true identity.

To demonstrate her Hungarian authenticity, Rosalinda sings a song of longing for her homeland. 

Falke explains to the amusement of the party guests that once after a costume party, Eisenstein left him drunk and asleep in his bat costume under a tree; when Falke awoke the next morning, he was surrounded by taunting children. Dr. Falke hints that one day he will take revenge on his friend. As the clock strikes, Eisenstein and Frank hurry on their separate ways to the jail.

The prison warden’s office
Baritone Constandinos Tsourakis as Frosh, the jailer
Alfred annoys the drunken jailer Frosch with his constant singing. Returning drunk from Orlovsky’s party, Frank falls asleep in his chair. The doorbell rings and Frosch admits Adele. She confesses to Frank that in reality she is the chambermaid in Eisenstein’s house. The bell rings again; Frank, recognizing Eisenstein (as “Marquis Renard”), tells Frosch to hide Adele and her sister.

Eisenstein and Frank reveal their true identities to each other. Frank, however, is skeptical because he has already arrested “the real Eisenstein.” They are interrupted by Frosch who announces a veiled lady. Frank goes to meet her as Frosch shows in Dr. Blind. Eisenstein forces Blind to surrender his clothes and glasses so that he can use them as a disguise.

Rosalinda meets with Alfred to warn him that Eisenstein is on his way. Her husband re-enters, now disguised as Blind. Accusations mount until Eisenstein takes off his disguise. Rosalinda confronts him on his behavior at Orlovsky’s party by producing his watch. 

As Falke arrives to enjoy seeing his revenge on Eisenstein, Rosalinda forgives Eisenstein for his flirtations. Everyone decides that the previous night’s confusion can be attributed to Champagne the King!

Conductor - Victor DeRenzi
Stage Director - Stephanie Sundine
Scenic Designer - David P. Gordon
Costume Designer - Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer - Ken Yunker
Hair & Make-Up Designer - Sue Sittko Schaefer
Chorus Master - Roger L. Bingaman