Vancouver Academy of Music Opera Studio

Die Fledermaus
by Johann Strauss
New English translation by Marcie Stapp
Lyrics by Carl Haffner and Richard Genee

Date: 17 - 20 June  2004
Venue: Waterfront Theatre

Reviewer: Jane Penistan


 
 

Artistic/Stage Director  David Meek  Conductor Frank Klassen   Music Director/Pianist  Donna Falconer  Ballet choreography  Tamara Pitts   Set and Lighting design  Jim Wenting  Costume design Julie Rithaler   Stage manager  Sean Ullmann


VAM's Fledermaus

Viennese glitter and enjoyment effervesced in the overture to Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus at the Waterfront Theatre on Thursday evening. Played by a small onstage orchestra and conducted by Frank Klassen, the vivacious music was an integral part of this colourful and entertaining production.

During the overture, members of the cast mimed Dr. Falke's plot for his revenge on Baron von Eisenstein for a trick previously played by him, to Dr. Falke's embarrassment. This was an amusing and interesting innovation.

The opening set was opulently furnished and decorated in heavy 19th century Viennese style, which changed to a pillared and spacious salon for the ball given by the bored young Prince Orlofsky. These contrasted well with the stark bleakness of the prison office of the third act

Elegance and wealth were the order of the day for the costumes of the principals and chorus. The women wore gorgeous, brightly coloured silk and satin bustled ball gowns in the second act, while their morning attire in the opening scenes was no less costly, though less ornate. Uniforms, medals and civic orders are always a means of bringing splashes of colour into men's black and white evening dress and here they were used to good effect.

Lindsay Sutherland Boal excelled as Adele, Rosalinde's maid. Not only did she sing beautifully, she also acted with style and panache. She was well assisted by Aurora Faulkner Killam as her sister Ida. Melody Mercredi was in powerful, well-tuned voice as Rosalinde. Prince Orlofsky is traditionally played by a contralto, and here Colleen Renihan more than adequately presented the bored young royal with a regal manner and a well modulated voice.



 
 
 
 

Lindsay Sutherland Boal excelled as Adele, Rosalinde's maid. Not only did she sing beautifully, she also acted with style and panache. She was well assisted by Aurora Faulkner Killam as her sister Ida. Melody Mercredi was in powerful, well-tuned voice as Rosalinde. Prince Orlofsky is traditionally played by a contralto, and here Colleen Renihan more than adequately presented the bored young royal with a regal manner and a well modulated voice.

David Morrow's Baron von Eisenstein was a seductive, well voiced philanderer. Ben Schnitzer sang the thankless role of Alfred, Rosalinde's lover, who is imprisoned by the governor, Frank, in mistake for von Eisenstein. Dr. Falke, die fledermaus, whose deviousness provided the means for all the misdemeanours at the prince's party, was sung by Joel Klein. He had a considerable presence and a sense of humour which permeated his polished performance.

As guests and waiters, the chorus sang and danced their way happily through the party where everyone on stage and in the audience enjoyed the spectacular presentation of the troupe of Russian dancers.

Like well chilled champagne, this production popped and bubbled as it frothed its way from overture to finale.

2004, Jane Penistan


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