Northwest NEWS

May 17, 1999

Entertainment

Seattle Opera's 'Die Fledermaus' is all charm and champagne bubbles

by Deborah Stone

   Seattle Opera concludes its 1998-99 season with the operetta Die Fledermaus, by Johann Strauss, Jr.

   With inventive staging by Linda Brovsky, handsome period sets and costumes, a strong cast, and contagious melodies, Die Fledermaus is a delight for opera and non-opera lovers alike.

   This very popular operetta revolves around a humorous revenge scheme and a host of amusing characters who pretend to be whom they're not, each hoping to achieve his/her objectives for the evening. The ensemble of principal singers and their supporting cast are a talented group with a flair for the dramatic and a good sense of comedic timing.

   Robert Orth, with his rich baritone, sings the role of Eisenstein with devilish charm, and soprano Gwynne Geyer sings the role of his wife, Rosalinde, with power and strength. Susannah Waters, as Adele the chambermaid, has many a scene-stealing moment with her lilting soprano voice and Irish brogue.

   Of particular note is Grant Neale, as Frosch, in a non-singing role. Neale is the ultimate rubberband man, performing his role with great relish and a gift for physical comedy.

   Die Fledermaus is best known for its feast of Viennese waltzes, and conductor Yves Abel and the Seattle Opera orchestra do an able job of showcasing Johann Strauss, Jr.'s memorable music.

   Performances of Die Fledermaus run through May 22nd. For its upcoming 1999-2000 season, Seattle Opera will open with Der Freischutz by von Weber, followed by Mozart's The Magic Flute; Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky; Lakme by Delibes; and Rossini's The Barber of Seville. For ticket information, call 206-389-7676.