Harrow Opera is staging an innovative new version of Strauss’s operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat, 1874) in October, the Middlesex-based company has revealed.
One of Strauss’s most beloved farces, Die Fledermaus’s plot is utterly fanciful, focusing on revenge, mistaken identity, seduction and a practical joke that has somewhat unforeseen consequences, all centred on a high-society party thrown by Prince Orlofsky.
Harrow Opera has updated the action to the indulgent and delightfully seedy world of a 1980s golf club, where the glamorous and wealthy compete with each other for social status and fall foul of their own scheming.
Dr Falke is seeking revenge on his old friend Eisenstein for playing a practical joke on him earning Falke the name Dr Bat. Eisenstein’s wife Rosalinde is being serenaded by Alfred, an old flame. While the housekeeper Adele just wants a night off to go partying.
Eisenstein accepts Falke’s invitation to a party hosted by Orlofsky, at which his masked wife and housekeeper turn up as well. By the end the hilarious mayhem gets resolved, practical jokes are avenged and the blame is laid on the champagne.
Performances run from tomorrow, 27 October, to 29 October, at 7.30pm, with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on 29 October. The show takes place at Compass Theatre in Ickenham, Uxbridge. Tickets are on sale now, costing £22.
Main cast roles are shared between two singers. Womanising ‘bon viveur’ Dr Falke is sung by Julian Brockless and Nick Marsden, with his rival Eisenstein performed by Stephen McNealy and Mike Wells. Helen Julie Johnson and Barbara Shapiro share the role of Rosalinde.
Housekeeper and aspiring actress Adele is sung by Adrienne Walters and Freya Turton. Bored, bitter and unhappy nobleman Prince Orlofsky is performed by Marianne Wentzel and Joanna Speight.
Rounding out the cast, upstanding upholder of the law Prison Governor Frank is performed by Jeremy Lowe and David Banbury. Dr Blind, Eisenstein’s rather ineffective lawyer, is performed by Jaymes Aarons. The role of Alfred, star tenor with a sunny disposition and a womanising habit, is sung by Guido Smeets.
Harrow Opera is a group of professional, semi-professional and amateur singers hailing from all over London and the south-east. The company is based in Harrow, Middlesex, and rehearses at the Harrow Arts Centre in Hatch End. It welcomes singers of all abilities. Further information about the company can be found on its website.
Middlesex-based company Harrow Opera is staging an imaginative new version of Strauss’s comic masterpiece Die Fledermaus.