The famous operetta “Die Fledermaus,” translated into English as “The Bat,” is coming to The University of Alabama Opera Theatre.
For three performances only, “Die Fledermaus” will be performed by UA opera students: at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 and March 1, and a final performance on March 3 at 3 p.m. All performances will be in Bryant-Jordan Hall on the Bryce campus.
The show is $20 for general admission and $5 for students with valid ID at the door only. General admission tickets can be purchased here.
It’s the first time the show has been performed at the University in nearly 30 years, since 1990.
“I chose to produce this operetta now because I had all the right students come together for the right roles so it worked out to be the perfect piece for the moment,” said Dr. Paul Houghtaling, associate professor of music and director of opera. “‘The Revenge of the Bat,’ contains some of the most popular waltz music ever written. Strauss wasn’t called the Waltz King for nothing.
“The show sparkles with comedy, champagne, romance and parties. This has some of the most famous, beautiful music that has ever been played. It’s an operetta, which is different than an opera because there’s spoken dialogue in it which operas don’t have. Also, operettas are lighter in nature and subject matter.”
“Die Fledermaus” was created by Austrian composer Johann Strauss the Younger and originally premiered in Vienna in 1874.
The operetta is a convoluted story about practical jokes that get out of hand. The plot isn’t what’s made”Die Fledermaus” famous though, Houghtaling said. Its melodies are why it’s so beloved and have made it a standard repertoire of opera stages around the world.
The orchestra in the operetta is an assembly of UA students, local and regional professionals. The singing will be in German, but the dialogue will be in English, translated from German by Houghtaling.
UA Opera Theatre started preparing for the operetta at the beginning of the semester, with students being cast in their roles in the fall.
Houghtaling is the operetta’s stage director, music faculty member Laurie Rogers serves as conductor and students from the theatre department designed the costumes, scene design and the lighting.
Every character in the operetta is double or triple cast, allowing people who attend more than one show to see different actors in the roles.