The award-winning Temple Opera Theater is performing Johann Strauss’ comedic operetta, Die Fledermaus, this weekend in Tomlinson Theater.
The director, conductor, producer team behind last year’s National Opera Association’s first place winner, L’Amico Fritz, is the same team behind this spring’s Die Fledermaus, which will be performed entirely in English.
Die Fledermaus, set in late 19th century Vienna, is performed against a 1920-esque backdrop of faux marble, chrome and the skyline of an urban city, in what Jamie Johnson, director of production, calls “art deco” style.
The plot centers on Roselinda and her husband, Gabriel von Eisenstein who is sentenced to prison. Before Eisenstein goes to prison he sneaks off to a party, posing as Marquis Renard. He meets a mysterious actress, who is actually his wife’s maid, Adele, in disguise.
After Eisenstein left for the party, Rosalinda’s lover stopped in, but is taken away by the police who mistake him for Gabriel von Eisenstein when they come to pick him up.
Rosalinda then goes to the party disguised as a Hungarian countess and Eisenstein flirts with the countess unaware of her real identity. The plot continues to escalate and involves plenty disguises, twists and turns and is very funny, John Douglas, conductor of Die Fledermaus, said.
Laura Johnson, guest director, has also directed Dialogue of the Carmelites, Albert Herring and L’Amico Fritz at Temple, and has directed operas for a number of colleges, universities and production companies including Cincinnati University College-Conservatory of Music, Harvard University, Lafayette College and the Opera Theater of Luca, Italy, in Tuscany.
“This is really about the audience kicking back and relaxing, it’s a comedy. It treats everything lightly. The music is effervescent like champagne,” Johnson said.
Tatyana Rashkovsky, a graduate student in the Opera Performance program, plays the part of Rosalinda.
“[Die Fledermaus] has lots of funny moments and lots of disguise,” Rashkovsky said. “I enjoy that it has dialogue, acting and singing … famous melodies and waltz music. I think the audience will enjoy the comedy and all the twists.”
Temple Opera Theater was awarded first place in level one in the National Opera Association’s competition earlier this year for the November 2003 production of L’Amico Fritz. Last year Temple Opera Theater won first place in level three in the NOA’s competition for its production of Hansel and Gretel.
Videos of the productions are submitted to the NOA from colleges, universities and small opera companies across the nation and are, according to Douglas, divided into “levels based on budget and scale of resources used” with level one being the highest, five the lowest.
“We have productions from all over the country and it’s evaluated by top, well recognized directors of opera in college and university programs,” NOA Executive Director Robert Hansen said. “To be accepted as the winner of the competition indicates a very high level of the program at Temple.”
Douglas said they will be submitting Die Fledermaus to the NOA’s competition.
Ticket are free for Temple students with their GAF card and can be obtained at the Liacoras box office and also at the door, if it is not sold out, which Douglas said does happens frequently.
Die Fledermaus will be preformed Friday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday April 17, at 3 p.m. in Tomlinson Theater on Main Campus. Tickets for non-Temple students are $20 for adults and $12.50 for students, senior citizens, faculty and staff.
Josh Chamberlain may be reached at Joshch@temple.edu.