Young North American cast creates bubbly atmosphere for Die Fledermaus

Jan. 8, 2014
Media contact: Jelena Bojic, assistant general manager & director of community relations
780-392-7837; jelena.bojic@edmontonopera.com

Famous for its chaotic plot and catchy melodies written by the Waltz King Johann Strauss II, many of the artists performing in the February production of Edmonton Opera’s Die Fledermaus have a personal connection to the work.

Director Allison Grant has previously choreographed and been the assistant director four other times on the popular German opera  — performed in English at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium — including a 1996 EO production under Kelly Robinson.

“I particularly enjoy working on Die Fledermaus because of its dance element, but also because of the infectious quality of music,” said Grant, who added that she was initially attracted to opera because of the large choruses, big orchestration and intensely felt human stories.

She is directing a cast of young singers from across North America, many who list Die Fledermaus as one of the first operas they ever performed. Baritone Peter McGillivray (Dr. Falke) has previously performed the work completely in German, as well as sung in German with English dialogue, but added this will be the first time he has done the entire production in English, and expects the language to allow for some fun interaction between the characters.

Just as the work has made an impression on many of the artists performing it, the Edmonton Opera expects that the casting will create a memorable experience for northern Alberta audiences.

Normally cast as a trouser role (sung by a mezzo-soprano), Prince Orlofsky can also be sung by a countertenor — a male voice that exerts control over the falsetto range. American Gerald Thompson portrays the Russian prince in the EO production, who declares that he is bored with everything life has to offer, yet encourages his guests at the Act II ball to drink champagne and enjoy themselves.

A sparkling comedy in three-quarter time, Strauss treated the events in this operetta with the same zest for life that punctuates his music, making this the perfect production during an Edmonton winter. 

To arrange interviews with any of the artists, please contact Jelena Bojic, assistant general manager and director of community relations, at 780-392-7837 or jelena.bojic@edmontonopera.com.  The media dress rehearsal will be held on Jan. 30 at 11 a.m. at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium; Die Fledermaus will be performed Feb. 1 (8 p.m.), Feb. 4 (7:30 p.m.) and Feb. 6 (7:30 p.m.), 2014.

 

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Please be aware that effective immediately, Sandra Gajic has decided to move on from the Edmonton Opera and resigned as CEO on May 2, 2013.

For the immediate future, Tim Yakimec, Director of Production, will be the Interim Business Manager for the Edmonton Opera.

Please direct any inquiries to Craig Corbett at ccorbett@lsgp.ca or 780.964.7604

Themes of fate, broken hearts drive Eugene Onegin opera

Those who haven’t had their heart broken need not apply.

Each character in the opera Eugene Onegin has the love of something, so understanding love is key to Edmonton Opera’s production, starting in mid-April at the Northern Alberta Jubilee.

“It’s really about, in many ways, living your life with a broken heart,” said director Tom Diamond. “On the first day, when I spoke to the cast, I talked about, at my middle age, I’m kind of glad that at some point in my life, I have had my heart broken, because it equips me to direct this kind of opera.”

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