OSWEGO – Johann Strauss’s operetta, “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat), will be presented by Oswego Opera Theater on October 13 at 7:30 p.m. and on October 14 at 2 p.m.
Dr. Juan LaManna, the artistic director, tells all of us how delighted he and the cast are to present this operetta to Oswego audiences.
“I find Die Fledermaus to be pure joy. It has some of the most beautiful melodies in the genre, and an amusing story line which keeps us wondering how it this mess going to end? It represents pure entertainment, the kind of pastime which was – and is – appreciated by opera goers. But perhaps, under the levity, we find a redeeming, somewhat deeper meaning to this story, which is really about revenge. Is the best revenge that of forgiveness? Or should we just drink more, better champagne?” he said.
The plot begins as Eisenstein, a wealthy man, has been sentenced to prison for eight days for using abusive language. Despite the efforts of Dr. Bind, his lawyer, Eisenstein is to start his sentence at midnight.
Dr. Falke, a notary, who is Eisenstein’s closest friend, brings him an invitation to a party given that night at Prince Orlofsky’s house. Eisenstein, not realizing that Falke was planning revenge for a practical joke he had played on Falke some time ago, attended the ball.
That is when the plot thickens with flirtations, disguises, mistaken identities, and general confusion.
The Oswego production has a stellar cast, featuring professional singers with extensive musical backgrounds and experiences, having performed major roles in opera companies in New York City, Central New York, and well beyond.
Pictured are five of the principal singers.
Hannah Spierman, who portrays Rosalinde, wife of Eisenstein, has had major roles too numerous to mention, with the Bronx Opera Company and other New York City companies, as well as many choral societies.
Kate Hannigan, mezzo soprano, portrays Prince Orlofsky, the host of the party. Her impressive credentials include leading roles in the Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Finger Lakes Opera, Rochester Lyric Opera, Opera on the Avalon, Eastman Opera, SUNY Purchase Opera, and Nazareth Opera. She was the recipient of the Vocal Concerto Competition Prize at the Eastman School of Music and winner of the Civic Morning Madrigal Award in Syracuse, New York.
Laura Corina Sanders, who plays Adele, the Maid, is a rising young soprano, originally from San Francisco, but who now resides in New York City. While studying at the Eastman School of Music, she was featured in major roles in several of their Opera Theater productions.
Last April she was one of the prize winners of the Lotte Lenya Competition.
Adam Fine, who plays Frank, Director of the Prison, last year delighted Oswego audiences as Pooh-Bah in “The Mikado.” Prior theatrical credits include many roles in Syracuse Opera productions. Fine is the bass soloist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Syracuse, and can be heard every week on CNY’s classical music radio station, WCNY Classic FM.
Todd Graber, well-known to Oswego audiences, plays Dr. Blind, the lawyer for Eisenstein.
He has performed in many Oswego Opera Theater productions and in many oratorios and recitals, both here and as guest artist in other Central New York and Midwestern cities.
The rest of the principal roles are performed by soloists with equally impressive backgrounds, even though they are not pictured in this article.
Michael Nansel, who plays Dr. Falke, a notary and Eisenstein’s closest Friend, has more than 75 roles to his credit, in both operas and musicals. He was the Wichita Grand Opera Singer of the Year in 2012 and was the dual winner in 2003 of the Washington Area Theater Community Honors for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical.
Zack Robison plays Eisenstein, a wealthy man. He performed in operas and choirs while studying at Fredonia and has spent many years doing musical theater in his hometown, Utica, New York.
Nathaniel Bear, as Alfred, lover of Rosalinde, is a young tenor currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he has performed in operas, choirs, ensembles, and art song recitals.
Diana Slater plays the role of Ida. A sophomore vocal major at Syracuse University, she has performed in several operas and oratorios.
Benjamin Spierman, who is returning to Oswego Opera Theater for his sixth show as Stage Director, is also performing as Frosch in “Die Fledermaus.” His reputation as stage director, dramatic coach, and opera singer in New York City opera companies and universities is impressive.
In addition to these principal roles, the performance is enlivened by a chorus consisting of College Choir members directed by Dr. Mihoko Tsutsumi, the College Dancers, directed by Dr. Ligia R. Pinheiro LaManna, and the Oswego Opera Instrumental Ensemble.
Oswego is indeed fortunate to showcase these outstanding performers and to support its own opera company. For forty years Oswego Opera Theater has been an opera haven for singers young and not so young, and student and professional singer alike.
“Die Fledermaus” will be presented in Waterman Theater, Tyler Hall on the SUNY Oswego campus. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $10 for students.
On and after October 1 tickets may be ordered at the box office at 315-312-2141.
Mark your calendars for October 13 and 14. You will be glad you did.