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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Mainstage productions, anniversary projects announced for Edmonton Opera’s 50th season

Next season, Edmonton Opera’s presence will be felt equally on and off the stage.

The opera company announced its 50th anniversary season on Jan. 23, which includes productions of Richard Strauss’ Salome, Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

In addition, anniversary-specific projects have been announced for 2013/14: an Edmonton Opera chorus concert in November 2013, a Canadian new work competition known as Opera Next and an education partnership called DIY Opera.

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The programming for our half-century anniversary in 2013/14 will be announced on Jan. 23 at noon in the Edmonton City Centre Mall on the second-floor pedway (near Tim Hortons).

Details on media parking will be made available closer to the date of the event and upon RSVP of media outlets.

The 40-minute event will include the announcement with comments from Sandra Gajic, Edmonton Opera CEO, and an opera performance by artists currently engaged by the company.

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