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VA OPERA: "Die Fledermaus" 4/4 & 4/6

March 10, 2003
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY PRESENTS VIRGINIA OPERA’S PRODUCTION OF
JOHANN STRAUSS’
DIE FLEDERMAUS
A NEW PRODUCTION
Friday, April 4, 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 6, 2 p.m

Music by Johann Strauss, Libretto by Carl Haffner and Richard Genée
Performed in an English translation by Ruth & Thomas Martin


New set by Erhard Rom inspired by 19th century Austrian painter Hans Makart
Maestro Dan Saunders conducts
Stage direction by Dorothy Danner


FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, MARCH 5, 2003—Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss’ masterpiece and the most popular work in the genre of operetta, returns to Virginia Opera in an all-new production at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Friday, April 4 at 8PM and Sunday, April 6 at 2PM. The opera features the memorable melodies for which Strauss is so revered. Virginia Opera Associate Conductor Dan Saunders will conduct all performances. A pre-performance artistic discussion takes place prior to both performances on the Grand Tier of the Concert Hall.

This effervescent work is witty, charming, and fast-paced from beginning to end. Considered wickedly provocative in its day, Die Fledermaus showcases the height of hedonistic Viennese society at the pinnacle of its empire. Filled with lilting waltzes, sophisticated humor and practical jokes, Die Fledermaus, ("The Bat") is based on the French farce, Le réveillon, by Meilhac and Halévy.

Three artists return to Virginia Opera in this production after making their way in the theatre and opera world. Soprano Suzan Hanson sings the role of Rosalinda, having last appeared as Laurie in The Tender Land during 1998. Tracey Welborn (Ferrando [cover] in Cosi fan Tutte/1999) is Gabriel von Eisenstein, and Dean Anthony (Allen and Toby [cover] Cue 67-The Medium/1992) appears as Rosalinda’s old suitor, Alfred. Artists making their Virginia Opera debuts include Broadway actor and singer Nat Chandler as the lively, conniving Dr. Falke. Tim Morton, a popular announcer on WHRO 90.3 FM (and one of the original reviewers of Virginia Opera’s productions), makes a surprise cameo appearance as Frosch, the drunken jailer, whose scene at the beginning of Act II is a comic tour-de-force.

This new production is the creation of stage director Dorothy Danner (The Widow/1998, Tosca/ 2001, A Christmas Carol, The Opera/2002), scenic designer Erhard Rom (The Merry Widow/1998), and Virginia Opera Artistic Director Peter Mark. The new set design by Rom conjures up the escapist joys of 19th century Vienna and the parallels of Strauss’ musical style. By reproducing the paintings of Austrian artist Hans Makart (1840-1884), the set creates an image of Vienna and the hedonistic antics of the aristocracy.

All performances will be sung in English with supertitles projected above the stage.

Tickets for VIRGINIA OPERA’s Die Fledermaus are $78, $64, $42. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.

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GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.