The DePaul University School of Music’s Opera Theatre, under the direction of Harry Silverstein, will present Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” March 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and March 14 at 2 p.m. at DePaul’s Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo Drive., Chicago.
Featuring grand sets of the art nouveau period, stylish costumes, a humorous story line and Strauss’ familiar waltz compositions, “Die Fledermaus” has long engaged diehard opera buffs and newcomers alike. Set in Vienna in the1890s, the operetta is a story of deception and revenge, unrequited love, a grand masquerade ball and, ultimately, forgiveness and a celebratory finale at the town jail.
The operetta will be sung in English, with DePaul voice students in leading roles backed by a full chorus and a full orchestra under the direction of veteran professional conductor William Lacey.
“We’re trying to be public-friendly,” Silverstein says of his decision to produce the work in English. “Opera in the local vernacular is something that the public enjoys. Audiences really prefer that the performers speak their language.”
Silverstein is marking his 20th anniversary as director of the DePaul Opera Theatre. He has directed opera professionally in the United States and abroad, including works performed at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera and English National Opera.
Lacey, who was the staff conductor at the San Francisco Opera between 1998 and 2001, is known throughout the world for his operatic conducting. His recent engagements include performances at the Orchestre de Paris at the Opera Comique, Nationale Reisopera (Netherlands), Greek National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Washington National Opera and New York City Opera.
A notable group of opera production specialists will be contributing to the DePaul performance, including assistant director Kristen Barrett, choreographer Marla Lampert, chorus master Paul Nicholson, costume designer Theresa Ham and lighting designer Jason Brown. Collectively, they have worked with renowned opera houses throughout the world.
Tickets are available in-person at the Merle Reskin Theatre Box Office, by calling (312) 922-1999 or purchase tickets online. Ticket prices range from $5 to $25.