Youngstown State University Theater will present Johann Strauss Jr.’s opera “Die Fledermaus” for three performances next weekend in Ford Theater, inside Bliss Hall.
Friday and Saturday’s performances will take place at 7:30 p.m., with a March 22 matinee at 2 p.m.
A reception with refreshments and a director’s pre-show conversation will precede the matinee show at 12:30 p.m. in Bliss Hall. Tickets are $20 and include the performance. Call the box office at 330-941-3105.
“‘Die Fledermaus’ is a delightful comedy of seduction, deception and retribution in Viennese high society, set to the sparkling waltzes of Johann Strauss Jr.,” said stage director David Vosburgh, who is also scenic designer. Vosburgh noted that patrons will recognize much of the music.
“Die Fledermaus,” or “The Bat,” was first performed in Vienna, in 1874.
It centers around a character named Eisenstein who is due to report to prison but is instead induced by his friend, Dr. Falke, to attend a fancy-dress party at Prince Orlofsky’s home.
Dr. Falke is actually planning to get revenge for having been abandoned on a previous occasion and forced to go home in his costume of a bat.
Eisenstein’s wife, Rosalinda, takes the opportunity of her husband’s absence for an assignation in her house with opera singer Alfred. But Alfred is mistaken by the prison governor to be her husband, and takes him to prison.
The chambermaid Adele borrows a dress and attends Prince Orlofsky’s party, where Rosalinda also appears, disguised as a Hungarian countess.
In a play of disguises and partly mistaken identities, Eisenstein flirts with his own wife and toasts the prison governor, introduced as the Chevalier Chagrin. They leave together, with Eisenstein now intending to report to the prison.
There, the jailer has objections to the singing Alfred. Adele, who has dramatic aspirations, seeks the prison governor’s help in furthering her career, while Eisenstein, who now arrives, cannot persuade him at first of his identity.
When he learns that a supposed Eisenstein is already in prison, he becomes suspicious of Rosalinda. Disguised as his lawyer, Dr. Blind, he cross-examines Rosalinda and Alfred, but she retaliates and reveals his identity by producing Eisenstein’s watch, which the supposed Hungarian countess had received from him at Prince Orlofsky’s.
Dr. Falke admits his part in the plot; Rosalinda and Alfred claim their assignation as a part of it and all ends in apparent satisfaction.
Youngstown State University’s opera program director is Allan R. Mosher; musical director and conductor is Jon Simsic; and choreographer is Stas Kmiec.
The cast includes Dean LaSalandra, Anthony Humphrey, Rebecca Enlow, Victor S. Cardamone, Michael Callahan, Kathleen Bachtel, Nicholas Hazleton, Paul Hill, Megan Anderson, Katy Howells, Erika Walker, Andrew Stamp and YSU alumnus Thomas O’Donnell.
Several dancers from Ballet Western Reserve comprise the Corps De Ballet, including Isabel Aey, Allyssa Armstrong, Lexi Burdman, Austin Dabney, Anna Marie Duda, Noelle Flynn, Caroline Lacusky, Cristina LaRocca, Sophia Logston, Rachel Rhodanz, Ava Shapiro, Dagmar Stahl and Sarah Veverka. Kmiec is the artistic director of BWR.
“Die Fledermaus” is part of the Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series and is a production of the Dana School of Music.