Friday, March 09, 2007

Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss, and Rome GA

Last night, DH and I attended a local performance of Johann Strauss's light opera, Die Fledermaus. This was a production of Players of the South and The Seven Hills Opera Theatre. Die Fledermaus first hit the stage in April, 1874, when the younger Strauss took a once-French art form, added a Viennese flavor, and created the Viennese Operetta. According to the article in the link above, "An operetta is like an opera in that much of the story is told through song with characters dressed in period costumes, surrounded by beautiful sets and accompanied by the orchestra.....There is often more spoken dialogue in an operetta...." Check out the links above for more background if you are interested.

Let us return to my review of last night's performance.

This Seven Hills Opera production updated the setting of the light opera to 1920s Chicago during Prohibition and did the performance in English.

Terrell, my oldest baby brother, who has played the lead and various supporting roles in many plays and musicals here in town over the last 30 years or so, had never performed in an operetta; so he auditioned for a minor role in this one. He played the incompetent lawyer and used his comic acting skills more than his very considerable musical ones. Terrell teaches public school as a paid vocation; he acts, sings, and tells stories as a usually-unpaid vocation of the heart. (Interesting word "vocation" - there is another blogpost there.) Last night the entire cast was superb. We heard some amazing voices and excellent symphony music, and Terrell was impressive in his first operatic role.

This light opera was entertaining, humorous, and well worth the time and money.

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