Now, having seen it (the production’s second performance, on October 9), Die Fledermaus still strikes me as an odd vehicle for such a venture.
It’s clear that Alden and his co-creators – set designer Allen Moyer and costume designer Constance Hoffman – have given the piece a lot of thought. And, to their credit, they were successful in creating a series of visually fascinating tableaux. (Even the final jail scene had an arresting quality.)
Yet even if the staging is at times overwrought, there’s no denying that Alden has made the production lively. As well, each character is clearly etched, and the whole cast is brought together for a strong ensemble performance.
Tenor Michael Schade fits the role of Eisenstein like a hand in a glove, with a charming and easy-going delivery, both vocally and dramatically. Also a natural for his role is baritone Peter Barrett, who brought an intriguing, sinister edge to his portrayal of Dr. Falke.
Tamara Wilson, as Rosalinde, is an old-school soprano – which means that a] her singing is about singing, and b] she’s very good at it.
Happily, as roles decreased in prominence there was no decrease in quality. Ambur Braid was an impressive surprise as the maid Adele. Laura Tucker was spot-on as the eccentric, world-weary Count Orlofsky. James Westman was a wacky Franck, and David Pomeroy was a wackier Alfred. Wackiest of all was David Cangelosi as Dr. Blind.
And Johannes Debus earned a champagne toast for his deft handling of cast, chorus and orchestra. His suave Viennese stylings – lilting waltzes, effervescent allegro gallops and long, gradual accelerandi – made this Fledermaus take musical flight.
© Colin Eatock 2012