Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

Die Fledermaus

“A smartly performed art deco update”
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Die Fledermaus, with its delicious tunes and high spirits, might define Viennese operetta, but there is nothing romantic about its web of lust, hedonism and deception.

By updating it from the 1870s to around 1930, and opting for an English version by Leonard Hancock and David Pountney, director-designer Richard Studer emphasises its credentials as a screwball musical comedy.

On the wide stage of West Green House’s transparent-walled auditorium are three large gilded cages. They remind us of the characters’ desire to escape their daily existence. They also come in useful for the final jail scene and add to the sense of Hollywood glamour at Prince Orlofsky’s party, skilfully achieved with the principals, a chorus of just half a dozen and imaginative costuming.

The Prince’s ditty is sung with firmness and spice by Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, while Jana Holesworth – promoted at short notice from the chorus to replace Stephanie Corley – really shows her mettle in Rosalinde’s soulful and virtuosic czardas. Galina Averina, playing up her Russian accent in Adele’s dialogue, brings steely substance and gleam to the chambermaid’s numbers, normally the preserve of soubrettes.

An energetic Eisenstein, Peter Van Hulle sings with definition and point, Robin Bailey is an explosively passionate Alfredo, and Benjamin Bevan’s urbane, full-toned Falke pulls the strings of the plot with panache.

The performance of the famous overture under conductor Jonathan Lyness very much sets the scene for his reading of the score. The dance rhythms swing and fizz without becoming frenetic and some especially graceful oboe playing adds a touch of middle-European melancholy.


Related to this Review

Boris GodunovBoris Godunov

Production Details
Production nameDie Fledermaus
VenueWest Green House
StartsJuly 20, 2019
EndsJuly 21, 2019
Running time3hrs 15mins
ComposerJohann Strauss Ii
DirectorRichard Studer
ConductorJonathan Lyness
Set designerRichard Studer
Lighting designerSarah Bath
CastBenjamin Bevan, Galina Averina, Jana Holesworth, Peter Van Hulle, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, Robin Bailey
Stage managerReb Desbois
ProducerWest Green House
VerdictThe essential Viennese operetta comes up fresh in this smartly performed art deco update
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Linked In
Pinterest
YouTube