The worst Die Fledermaus I've seen, and one of my least favourite opera productions ever
I have always loved opera and operettas, and I have seen some masterpiece productions(both on film and on stage) over the years, and I'd be all night listing them. This Salzburg Die Fledermaus is not one of them, in fact if it weren't for the musical values and a couple of good performances it would have been even more of a disaster. It is the worst Die Fledermaus I've seen, and I've seen about seven including this one, and alongside the likes of 2003's Rigoletto, 2003's Siegfried, 2005's Don Carlos, 2007's Hansel and Gretel, 2008's Meistersinger Von Nurnberg, 2008's La Forza Del Destino and 2009's Tosca one of my least favourite opera productions of all time. The orchestral playing is stylish and lush, doing justice to Strauss' wonderful score, the conducting has great energy, and there are three good performances, Mireille Delunsch's charming Rosalinde, Malin Hartelius' mischievous Adele and Olaf Bar's suitably repellent Falke. Dale Duessing has a good voice also as Frank but looks ridiculous in his wedding-cake-like outfit. Christoph Homberger's Einsenstein is the same, except this interpretation is more unsubtly cruel than funny. Elisabeth Trissenaar's Frosch is far too cruel and solipsist to convince as the drunk and hilarious jailer. Jerry Hadley's Alfred sounds pushed vocally, and the character who's often been a bright spot in Die Fledermaus fails to come to life. But it is the performance of Prince Orlofsky that was the worst performance. Not helped by the pyjamas and dreadlocks, David Moss literally screams his way through the role and acts like an idiot on stage. The staging is what really brought this production down, perhaps it tried to show the differences, social comments and hypocrisy of the classes but like the 2007 Met Hansel and Gretel it does so in such an unsubtle way that the charm and fun of the operetta is completely lost. The production sees Prince Orlofsky snorting cocaine and offering it to people, Dr Blind actually blind and additional characters like the Einsensteins' children, who looked as though they wandered from another opera(think Hansel and Gretel, only 2007 Met-standard). The chorus sound good, but like the children are made to do things that will repulse the viewer rather than delight them, such as with the gratuitous erotic acts. The dialogue is re-written and has no witty or hilarious bits whatsoever, in fact a lot of it induces groans. The costumes and sets look awful, Guessing actually looks embarrassed in his costume and I am not surprised, and not even moments of artful lighting(though too far and between) can save them. In a nutshell, apart from the music, musical values and the performances of Delunsch, Hartelius and Bar, this Fledermaus is terrible. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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