CORVALLIS - The comic operetta "Die Fledermaus" ("The Bat") will be presented by Opera Theater Corvallis and the Oregon State University Department of Music at LaSells Stewart Center Friday and Saturday, April 16-17. The opera, performed in English, begins at 7:30 p.m. both evenings.
Johann Strauss, Jr., known as the "Waltz King," wrote this masterpiece in 1873. The tale of mistaken identity, romantic intrigue, masquerade, flirtation and mischief is set to enduring and popular classical music. Taking place in Vienna at the turn of the century, the plot revolves around an elaborate joke staged by Dr. Falke, who had been tricked into walking home in broad daylight as a bat (a Fledermaus) by his friend, Gabriel von Eisenstein.
A vengeful Falke devises several ways for Eisenstein to embarrass himself at Prince Orlofsky's party, including flirting with his own parlor maid (in disguise) and courting a lovely stranger, who happens to be his own wife Rosalinda, masquerading as a Hungarian countess. When he confronts her the next morning with having a tryst with an opera singer, she proves that he is just as much at fault.
This production of "Die Fledermaus" is the fifth collaboration between stage director Lisa Berkson Platt and music director Marlan Carlson. It brings together the talents of professional singers from throughout the Willamette Valley, supported by OSU senior vocal performance students, and by the Corvallis Singers under the direction of Michael Coolen.
Soprano Coral Walterman, in the role of Rosalinda, last sang the title role of Susannah for OTC. Amy Hansen, soprano, new to the OTC stage, sings the role of Adele. She has performed roles with the Oregon Symphony and the Portland Opera Players. Portland tenor James Schmitt sings the role of Eisenstein. Schmitt currently serves on the music faculty of Marylhurst College and has performed with the Des Moines Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and in many concerts and recitals.
David Howell, as Alfred, was last seen as the Duke in Rigoletto. He is a doctoral student at the University of Oregon. Baritone Richard Poppino is Dr. Falke. The director of vocal studies at OSU, he last appeared as Sam in OTC's "Trouble in Tahiti." Corvallis native Gale Hazel, mezzo soprano, is Prince Orlofsky. She has sung numerous top roles for OTC including Carmen, and Dinah in "Trouble in Tahiti."
The cast also includes former OSU Pesident John Byrne as Frank, the prison warden.
Reserved tickets, at $18 and $15, are available at Rice's Pharmacy and Scandinavian Trading Company in Corvallis, and Sid Stevens Jewelers in Albany.