We had our first performance of Die Fledermaus, Act II: A Night at the Ball here at WMU last night. This morning we received an email from our Opera Director, Susan B. Anthony, with a review written by Joseph G. Reish, Dean of Libraries at WMU. I just had to share it with you all simply for the fantastic writing that it contains in addition to the wonderful compliments. I hope you see you all there for the final performance this evening!
“We have an embarrassment of artistic treasures that WMU offers the community. “Die Fledermaus,” the Opera Workshop production at Dalton, is one of these. The students last evening far exceeded my expectations: they possess crystalline voices, pitch-wise perfection, and demonstrated enjoyment in entertaining. The students embody “characters within an operatic context” such that they exude engagement, personality, and a notable presence.
The women especially were just spectacular voice-wise, and the men showed vocal growth and musicality since the fall opera workshop recital.
The Strauss (Johann II, not Richard) opera is an operetta in the genre of “The Merry Widow.” No horned female warriors with breast plates or mythical Wagnerian lovers who eventually discovered themselves as brother and sister. The focus in “The Bat” is the champagne-bubbles-filled ball scene, Act II, where mistaken identity masked and costumed with color and creativity takes the audience through a carnivalesque roadtrip. Besides the delightful, danceable pieces of Strauss, we are drawn into interloping musical selections from a variety of eras that allow broader student participation. These enhance the gaiety of the ball by introducing musical spots by persona from the Mozart, Menotti, and Debussy operas. Irving Berlin’s “Anything you can do…” from the ‘Annie with a Gun, and not the Tomorrow Annie,’ is a crowd pleaser.
In this observer’s opinion the integrity of the ball scene remains intact, and I offered up much applause!
Brava Maestra Anthony; Bravo Maestro Little, and Bravi The School of Music.
Do take advantage of tonight’s performance at 8:00 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. And bring “flowers!””
JGR … third row orchestra reviewer
Thank you so much for your kind words Dean Reish!