Die Fledermaus is celebrated as the crowning achievement of the “Waltz King” Johann Strauss Jr. and Viennese operetta. A witty plot, focusing on mistaken identity, flirtation and a practical joke that results in surprising consequences, make this piece completely entertaining. Be swept up in the spirited action and gorgeous melodies of Die Fledermaus — a live opera experience not soon forgotten.
Gabriel von Eisenstein, a Viennese man-about-town, has been sentenced to eight days in prison for insulting an official, partially due to the incompetence of his attorney, Dr. Blind. Adele, Eisenstein’s maid, receives a forged letter, purportedly from her sister who is in the company of the ballet, but actually written by Falke, inviting her to Prince Orlofsky’s ball. She pretends the letter says that her aunt is very sick, and asks her mistress Rosalinde (Eisenstein’s wife) for an evening off. Falke, Eisenstein’s friend, arrives to invite him to the ball. Together, they recall a practical joke which Eisenstein played on Falke a few years ago, for which Falke is secretly planning a light-hearted revenge in kind. Eisenstein bids farewell to Adele and his wife Rosalinde, pretending he is going to prison, but really intending to postpone jail for one day and have fun at the ball.
After Eisenstein leaves, Rosalinde is visited by her former lover, the singing teacher Alfred, who serenades her. Frank, the governor of the prison, arrives to take Eisenstein to jail, and finds Alfred instead. In order not to compromise Rosalinde, Alfred agrees to pretend to be Eisenstein and to accompany Frank.
It transpires that Falke, with Prince Orlofsky’s permission, is using the ball as a way of getting revenge on Eisenstein. Some time before, after a costume-party, Eisenstein had abandoned Falke, very drunk and dressed in a bat-costume, in the center of town, exposing him to ridicule the next day. As part of his scheme, Falke has invited Frank, Adele, and Rosalinde to come to the ball, all concealing their identities as well. Rosalinde pretends to be a masked Hungarian countess, Eisenstein goes by the name “Marquis Renard,” Frank is “Chevalier Chagrin,” and Adele, who has borrowed one of Rosalinde‘s dresses without permission, pretends she is an actress.
The ball is in progress and the Prince welcomes his guests. Eisenstein is introduced to Adele, but is confused as to who she really is because of her striking resemblance to his maid. Frank arrives. He and Eisenstein, who are both posing as Frenchmen, attempt to conceal their identities by repeating common French phrases to each other, to Orlofsky’s great amusement. Since neither actually knows French, both are fooled. As the party progresses, they both experience alcohol-induced good-feeling and manly camaraderie for each other.
Then Falke introduces the masked Rosalinde to the company. She convinces everyone that she is Hungarian by singing the “Czardas”, a sentimental dancing-song. During an amorous tête-à-tête, Eisenstein tries unsuccessfully to persuade the mystery-woman to unmask. She succeeds in extracting a valuable watch from her husband’s pocket, something which she can use in the future as evidence of his impropriety. In a rousing finale, Orlofsky makes a toast to champagne, and the company celebrates. Eisenstein and Frank dash off as the clock strikes six in the morning.
The next morning they all find themselves at the prison where the confusion increases and is compounded by the jailer, Frosch, who has profited by Warden Frank’s absence to become gloriously drunk. Alfred, still in jail in Eisenstein’s place, irritates the other prisoners by singing operatic arias.
Adele arrives to ask the Chevalier Chagrin (actually Frank) to sponsor her career as an actress, but Frank is not wealthy enough to do this. Meanwhile, Alfred asks Frosch to summon Dr. Blind to help get him released; Frank agrees to allow this and Dr. Blind arrives. Eisenstein enters and says he has come to serve his sentence. He is surprised when Frank tells him that his cell is already occupied by a man who claims to be Eisenstein and whom Frank had arrested in Eisenstein’s apartment. Frank further tells Eisenstein that the man he arrested was singing amorous songs to Rosalinde at the time of his arrest, and warmly kissed her goodbye. Enraged, Eisenstein takes Dr. Blind’s wig and glasses in order to disguise himself and confront the impersonator Alfred, whom Eisenstein now believes has cuckolded him. Rosalinde enters. Eisenstein takes off his disguise and accuses her of being unfaithful to him with Alfred. Eisenstein, Rosalinde, and Alfred sing a trio in which Eisenstein angrily claims the right of vengeance. However, Rosalinde produces his watch, and he realizes that the Hungarian mystery-woman he tried to seduce at Orlofsky’s party was actually Rosalinde in disguise and that he, not she, is at fault.
Falke enters with all the guests from the party and explains that the whole thing was payback for Eisenstein’s practical joke on him three years before. Eisenstein is delighted by the prank, and he begs Rosalinde to forgive him for his attempted infidelity. Rosalinde refuses at first, and threatens to divorce him, but Eisenstein tells her that his misbehavior was caused by the Champagne. She accepts this explanation and immediately forgives him unconditionally. Orlofsky promises to finance Adele’s acting career, and the company joyfully reprises the “Champagne song” from Act 2.
Gordon Gerrard – Conductor
Gerrard is a respected figure in the new generation of Canadian musicians. Trained first as a pianist and subsequently as a specialist in operatic repertoire, Gordon brings a fresh perspective to the podium. His passion and his dedication to producing thrilling musical experiences have endeared him to his fellow musicians and the public alike.
Gordon has most recently been appointed as the 15th Music Director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra, commencing in July 2016. He also currently holds the position of Associate Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, a position which was created for him after two highly successful seasons there as Assistant Conductor. For four seasons Gordon held the positions of Resident Conductor and Repetiteur for Calgary Opera. He led many productions while in residence in Calgary, including the Canadian premiere of Mark Adamo’s Little Women recorded for national broadcast on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera; and a highly successful production of La Bohème chosen specifically to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company. He was invited back to help launch Calgary Opera’s summer opera festival Opera in the Village with productions of Candide and The Pirates of Penzance. During his tenure at Calgary Opera, Gordon was honoured with the Mayor’s Award for Emerging Artists for his contribution to the musical life of the city of Calgary. Gordon has also conducted productions for Opera Hamilton to critical acclaim and was Assistant Conductor for several productions at Opera Lyra Ottawa. Gordon is also a regular guest conductor for Opera McGill, where he has led productions of Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro.
Maria Fuller – Assistant Conductor/Répétiteur
From Earl Grey, Saskatchewan, conductor, and musician Maria Fuller is an internationally active performer on the podium, the piano, the trumpet, and is also an acclaimed vocal coach, composer and arranger. She holds a BMus in piano, (McGill), a MM in piano, an AD in Operatic Coaching, and a MM in Orchestral Conducting, (CCM, Cincinnati).
Maria has performed throughout Europe and North America, is a multi-time laureate of several Canadian National Finals, has soloed internationally, and played in various US and Canadian symphonies. Last January, she had a CD released under the Parma Navona Recording Label.
Recently, Maria has conducted several of Canada’s leading symphony orchestras as a finalist for Assistant Conductor, and is currently the Resident Conductor and Chorus Master in Thunder Bay. Equally adept in opera, Fuller has coached and conducted for the Saskatoon and Cincinnati opera companies. This summer, Maria is the David Effron Conducting Fellow at the Chautauqua Institute in NY. She looks forward to returning to Saskatchewan in December to conduct the RSO.
Charlie Peters – Stage Director
Charlie Peters is a Saskatoon-based theatre and opera director, actor, lighting designer, playwright, dramaturge, poet, and clown. He earned a BFA in Acting from the University of Saskatchewan and has continued his training at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance. He is the recipient of the Saskatoon and Area Theatre Award for Outstanding Emerging Artist (2013) and Outstanding Lighting Design (Two Corpses Go Dancing, 2015) and was nominated for Outstanding Direction for (Diana Son’s Stop Kiss, 2014). For Saskatoon opera Charlie has directed 6 Opera in Schools tours, 1 chamber opera (Merry Christmas Stephen Leacock in 2018), and last season’s mainstage production of La Boheme. His other artistic work has been seen on stages (and in parks, fields, school gyms, living rooms, community halls, and swimming pools) across Saskatchewan and Western Canada. Next season you can see his work at the Play the Fool Festival in Edmonton and at Live Five in Saskatoon where he is director and dramaturge for Megan Zong’s new work Unmasked. Charlie is Artistic Associate with Sum Theatre, Founding Director of Embrace Theatre, serves as Secretary on the board of directors of the Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals, and also works as a theatre educator, using drama skills to build community, inter and intra-personal awareness, and self-confidence through playful, imaginative learning. . www.charliepeters.ca
Jessica Strong – Rosalinde von Eisenstein
Hailed as a “superb discovery” by Operà Magazine, Canadian soprano Jessica Strong has been praised for possessing “a powerful top, a seductive vibrato and assured coloratura” (Opera Canada), as well as her “powerful, charismatic soprano whose voice commands attention” (Classical Voice America).
This season Ms. Strong sings as Donna Anna in Manitoba Opera’s production of Don Giovanni, as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and makes her company debut with Saskatoon Opera as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. In past seasons, she starred as the title role in Barber’s Vanessa, Marta in Weinberg’s Die Passagierin, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Lina in Verdi’s rarely performed Stiffelio, and Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, all with Opera Frankfurt. In 2017 she made her company debut with Opera Vlaanderen, jumping in as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra. Other operatic credits include leading roles in La Traviata, Carmen, Der Ring des Nibelungen, The Rake’s Progress, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ariodante, Le Cantatrici Villane, and L’Italiana in Algeri.
Ms. Strong has appeared in concert with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, The Calgary Festival Chorus, The Aldeburgh Connection, The Musical Offering, Canzona, and at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall as a participant in ‘The Song Continues’ with Marilyn Horne and Jessye Norman.
Danika Lorèn – Adele
Recent graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Danika Lorèn is known for her dramatic sensitivity and instinctive musicality. Having made her Canadian Opera Company debut as Woglinde in Götterdämmerung, Danika has also appeared in The Nightingale and Other Fables, and will be back next season as Musetta in La Bohème. Ever versatile, Danika’s past roles include: Zdenka (Arabella), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Dalinda (Ariodante), Coloratura (Kopernikus), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Monica (The Medium), Lady with a Hand Mirror (Postcard from Morocco), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro).
Ms. Lorèn made her orchestral debut in her hometown with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra performing Faure’s Requiem with conductor Eric Paetkau. After winning the University of Toronto Concerto Competition in 2014/15, Danika performed Richard Strauss’ Op. 27 with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Uri Mayer. In 2016, Danika made her debut at the Indian River Festival singing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. This year, Danika performed her first Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Toronto’s Pax Christi Chorale. In November, Ms. Loren will be performing Mozart’s Requiem with the Regina Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Lorèn pursued a BFA in Drama at the University of Saskatchewan. She has since completed her bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Toronto under the instruction of J. Patrick Raftery. In 2016, Ms Lorèn completed a master’s degree in Opera from the same institution, studying with Wendy Nielsen.
Andrew Haji – Alfred
Canadian tenor Andrew Haji is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after voices on both the operatic and concert stage. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 50th International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and theMontreal International Music Competition’s Oratorio Prize, Haji recently performed Bach’s Matthäus Passion with Pinnock and the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Messiah for the Toronto Symphony – Debus conducting. Further appearances this season include Rodolfo in La bohème and Cassio in Otello for the Canadian Opera Company (COC) and Bach’s Mass in B Minor for the Amadeus Choir. His coming season begin with Alfredo in La Traviata for Vancouver Opera, followed by Messiah for the Edmonton Symphony, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 for the Victoria Symphony and Berlioz Messe Solennelle for the Belgrade Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony and a tour with the Winnipeg Symphony of the Netherlands.
Last season the Festspiele Mecklenburg–Vorpommern winner was heard as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore in Toronto for the COC and for Vancouver Opera, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the Toronto Symphony, Messiahfor the Grand Philharmonic Choir of Kitchener Waterloo and the opening night gala at the Elora Festival. Haji is an alumnus of the COC Ensemble Studio and on the mainstage at the Four Seasons Centre he has been heard as Alfredo in La traviata and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. During his time as a member of the Ensemble Studio, his leading roles included Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Ferrando in Così fan tutte.
Samuel Chan – Dr. Falke
Named one of CBC Musics’ ‘30 Hot Classical Musicians under 30’, baritone Samuel Chan has been praised for his ‘Vocal Versatility’ (ReviewVancouver) and ‘naturally produced lyric baritone’ (Joseph So – Ludwig van Toronto) on the operatic, concert, and recital stages. He has performed across North America at the Canadian Opera Company, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, City Opera Vancouver, Songfire Festival Vancouver, the Elora Festival, Cincinnati Early Music Festival, and Cincinnati Chamber Opera with repertoire spanning from Early Baroque to world premieres. Past operatic roles include Marcello/The Sergeant (La Bohème), Eugene Onegin/The Captain (Eugene Onegin), Marullo/Usher (Rigoletto), Sychophantic Senator (Hadrian), Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte), Pastore II/Apollo (L’Orfeo), Count Lamoral (Arabella), and the Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro). Future engagements include gala performances with the Festival of the Sound (Parry, Ontario), Cantos para hermanar al mundo (Torreon, Mexico), competing in the 2019 Stella Maris International Vocal Competition, Messiah with the Grand Philharmonic Choir (Kitchener-Waterloo, On), understudying Figaro in The Barber of Seville (Canadian Opera Company), and performing
Dancairo in Carmen (Pacific Opera Victoria). Samuel is a graduate of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has been a second prize winner at the COC’s Centrestage Competition, and a District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Olivia Guselle – Prince Orlofsky
Olivia Guselle is 19 years old and completing her second year of vocal performance studies at the University of Toronto under Elizabeth MacDonald. Apart from Opera, Olivia has always enjoyed choral singing, and has been a member of many choirs including the Fireside Singers, the Saskatoon Children’s Choir, the Greystone Singers, and the Macmillan Singers. She has recently begun to find her voice in jazz, performing as a soloist with the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra this past October in their Canadian Composer Spotlight concert. She also loves musical theatre, and played the role of Clopin in the Fireside Singer’s production of the Huncheback of Notre Dame last spring. She is very excited and grateful to be making her first operatic debut this summer as Prince Orlofsky in the Saskatoon Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus!
Nicholas Urquhart – Frank
Holding a Post Baccalaureate Diploma from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Music Degree form Brandon University, Nicholas has taken Winnipeg by storm. He fuels his passion for choral music by singing with The Winnipeg Singers but he is also no stranger to the stage. He has been seen as Pandolfe in Massenet’s Cendrillon (MUO) and Don Magnifico in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (UofM) along with Jupiter in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld (MUO) and Gianni Schicchi in Puccini’s well-known opera, Gianni Schicchi (MUO). Most recently he was seen playing Wilfred in Gilbert and Sullivan’s, Yeoman of the Guard where his “razor sharp comedic timing…” catapulted him into taking on more comedic roles.
Chris Donlevy – Blind
Chris Donlevy is a Saskatoon-born Winnipeg-based performer, and is thrilled to be back in Saskatoon for Die Fledermaus! Opera: La Boheme (Saskatoon Opera); Gianni Schicchi, Magic Flute… Retold. (Manitoba Underground Opera); The Brothers Grimm, The Scorpions Sting, The Bremen Town Musicians (Saskatoon Opera in Schools); The Cunning Little Vixen (Opera Nuova); Les Arts Florrissants (UManitoba Baroque Chamber Opera); La Traviata, Falstaff, Of Mice and Men (Manitoba Opera Chorus). Musical Theatre: Carousel (Opera Nuova) It’s A Wonderful Life, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Persephone); Two Corpses Go Dancing (Live Five Saskatoon); Saskatchewan Outdoors (Sask Parks). Training: BMus in Vocal Performance (UManitoba); BFA in Drama -Distinction (USask).
Kelsey Ronn – Sally
Coloratura Soprano Kelsey Ronn is a “Born and Raised Prairie Girl” from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She is enrolled at the University of Manitoba studying under Tracy Dahl. In 2018 she attended Opera NUOVA in Edmonton, AB in the role of (Dorine) from “Tartuffe” by Kirke Mechem. “Her Dorine in Tartuffe, the family’s irreverent, witty servant, was fully formed musically and dramatically. She made me want to listen to her, and she made me laugh.”– Bill Rankin, Opera Canada Magazine.
Kelsey has been involved in the U of M’s opera theatre ensemble, performing scenes from “L’elisir d’amour” (chorus) by G. Donizetti, “Midsummer Night’s Dream” (chorus) by Benjamin Britten, “L’orfeo” (Ninfa) by Monteverdi, “La Rondine” (Bianca) by G. Puccini, and the title role in “Cendrillon” by J. Massenet.
In March 2018, Kelsey was awarded the Tudor Bowl Trophy at the Winnipeg Music Festival. This year, she was presented first place for both the Zita Bernstein Competition (Winnipeg) and the Kinsmen Vocal Scholarship Competition (Saskatoon). As of late, Kelsey was a participant and prizewinner of the Goodfellow Memorial Senior French Art Song Vocal Scholarship at Saskatchewan Provincial Music Festival.
Kelsey is thrilled to make her Saskatoon Opera debut in “Die Fledermaus” as (Sally).
Alyssa Billingsley – Frosch
Alyssa Billingsley (also known as “Alyssa Joy”) is a Canadian singer, actor, and ‘global citizen.’ Hailing from rural Saskatchewan, she grew up on the open prairie and attended school in a small community of 1200 people where arts education was not abundantly available. This lead to her journey in community and cultural development through the arts. A true theatre nomad, Alyssa has been living as freelancer — performing contract to contract throughout Canada while being driven to strengthen cultural, social, and community development.
Performance credits include a Tribe Member in Hair (Mayfield Dinner Theatre), the Calgary Critter-nominated roles of Annie and Shelly in Evil Dead: The Musical (Hit and Myth/Ground Zero), Octavia in the Canada-wide tour of The Backyardigans LIVE: Deep Sea in Adventure (KOBA Entertainment), Young Joni Mitchell in Songs of a Prairie Girl (Wild Side Productions) at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Violet in It’s A Wonderful Life and Amy in Little Women (Persephone Theatre), and Stewer in Chickens (Station Arts Centre). Her two most recent Edmonton Fringe festival appearances were as Shelley in the Sterling-nominated production of Batboy (Patient Mango Theatre) and Carrie in Carrie:The Muscial(50% Fruit Theatre), She was both tour manager and a performer for Wide Open Theatre’s 2015 4-month Alberta and Saskatchewan puppet tour and is pleased to frequently keep up her puppeteering and physical theatre skills.
Built in 2007, the Remai Arts Centre was the first new development at River Landing to influence the revitalization of Saskatoon’s downtown core and now sits amidst an increasingly vibrant city centre. Home to Persephone Theatre, it holds a 421 seat main stage theatre and a 150 seat flexible second stage and is a regular performance venue for the Saskatoon Opera and many other established performing arts groups in Saskatoon.
This beautiful, versatile performance venue attracts a loyal audience looking for high quality arts experiences. From its busy stages and rehearsal halls; to the many community and cultural events held in its lobby, the Remai Arts Centre has established itself as a cultural hub in Saskatoon.
Remai Arts Centre is where all the Opera Magic happens!
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