Youngstown State University’s Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series and the Dana School of Music will present Johann Strauss, Jr.’s opera “Die Fledermaus” for one weekend, opening Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22 in Bliss Hall’s Ford Theater at Youngstown State University. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday matinee performance is at 2 p.m.
A special event celebrating the opera and including refreshments and a director’s pre-show conversation will be held on Sunday, March 22, at 12:30 p.m. in Bliss Hall. Tickets are $20 and include refreshments, the pre-show talk and the matinee. Advance reservations and payment must be made in advance by calling the University Theater Box Office at 330-941-3105.
This performance is the second opera at YSU staged under the auspices of the Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series made possible by Christine and Edward Muransky in honor of Christine’s father. The Muransky family provided a gift to support the Performing Arts Series and the YSU opera in perpetuity in October, 2013. The Performing Arts Series was renamed as a result of that gift.
“Die Fledermaus,” or translated, The Bat, was first performed at the Theater an der Wien, in Vienna, on April 5, 1874. This synopsis, by Naxos, notes that Eisenstein is due to report to prison but he is induced to attend a fancy-dress party at Prince Orlofsky’s, by his friend Dr. Falke, who plans revenge for having been abandoned on a previous occasion to go home in his costume of a bat. Eisenstein’s wife, Rosalinda, takes the opportunity of his absence for an assignation in her house with opera singer Alfred, who is mistaken by Frank, the prison governor, for her husband, and taken to prison. The chambermaid Adele has sought various excuses for taking time off and in a borrowed dress attends Prince Orlofsky’s party, where Rosalinda also appears, disguised as a Hungarian countess. It is a play of disguises and partly mistaken identities.
Youngstown State University’s opera program director is Dr. Allan R. Mosher; musical director and conductor is Jon Simsic; stage director/scenic designer is David Vosburgh; chorographer is Staś Kmieć; lighting designer is Kevin Wolfgang; costumer is Barbara Luce; production manager is Todd Dicken; stage manager is Devin Whitehouse; musical preparation is Jerry Rezanka; and master carpenter is Frank Bongen.
“ ‘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 Vosburgh. He noted that patrons will recognize much of the music.
The “Die Fledermaus” cast includes: Dean La Salandra (Austintown); Anthony Humphrey (New Castle, Pa.); Rebecca Enlow (Salem); Victor S. Cardamone (Apollo, Pa.) Michael Callahan, (Lancaster, Pa.); Kathleen Bachtel, (Massillon); Nicholas Hazleton, (Grove City, Pa.); Paul Hill, (Sharon); Megan Anderson (New Castle, Pa.); Katy Howells, (Baden, Pa.); Erika Walker, (Canfield); Andrew Stamp, (Struthers) and YSU alumnus Thomas O’Donnell, ’91 & ’05 (Youngstown).
Several dancers from Ballet Western Reserve, Staś Kmieć, artistic director, 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.
Show tickets may be reserved by calling the University Theater Box Office at 330-941-3105. Ticket prices are $15 for adults; $10 for senior citizens and high school and college students from other universities; $7.50 for YSU faculty and staff; $5 for YSU students with ID and University Theater season ticket holders. Parking is available in the Wick Avenue parking deck for a small fee for all performances.
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