by Suzanne Vanstone, Senior Communications Manager, Editorial at the Canadian Opera Company
It is always a great moment for our company to have the opportunity to create a new production for our audience, and it has been Alexander Neef’s goal, since his arrival, to regularly introduce new productions to the COC’s repertoire. This fall we present Johann Strauss II’s delicious Die Fledermaus, which has not been performed here since 1991.
Set designer Allen Moyer (Nixon in China) and costume designer Constance Hoffman (Julius Caesar) discuss a few of the visual aspects of this production as well as what influenced some of their design choices. All the members of the creative team were interested, from the start, in presenting a well-known work in a fresh, relevant way. They felt there was great potential in delving further into Strauss’s Vienna as well as subsequent periods in Viennese history.
Moyer was delighted to hear that Neef had chosen director Christopher Alden (The Flying Dutchman, Rigoletto) for this project. “The only person I would really want to do Fledermaus with would be Christopher. I enjoy doing ‘pretty’ things but Fledermaus has been done so much, and we wanted to take a new look at it. It’s like mounting Così fan tutte – you can do a production that is completely lighthearted and slightly flippant, or you can do a production that also acknowledges the pain and betrayal that is part of being an adult and falling in love.” The team wanted to see what lay behind the froth and fluff and champagne.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Die Fledermaus / comments (0) / permalink
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Behind the Scenes / comments (0) / permalink
By Suzanne Vanstone, Senior Communications Manager, Editorial at the Canadian Opera Company.
After splitting the demanding title role in the Ensemble Studio performance of Semele this past spring, sopranos Mireille Asselin and Ambur Braid are both excited to join us this fall to share the charming role of Adele in Johann Strauss II’s operatic frolic Die Fledermaus.
Both sopranos have been busy over the summer months. Ambur had a few stops: Santa Fe to coach upcoming roles with Anne Larlee and Matthew Epstein; then to the Chautauqua Institution to work with Richard Bonynge; followed by a stint at the Steans Institute in Ravinia. Mireille left Toronto the day after Semele closed to travel to Glimmerglass where she performed Phénice/Lucinde in Lully’s Armide with Opera Atelier as well as being involved to a lesser extent with Aida and The Music Man.
Both agree that the Ensemble Studio program has helped in their preparation for the larger roles they have been offered recently. “The first year was so unlike anything I’d ever experienced,” says Ambur. “But you put things together in a way that works for you. My second year involved a series of small roles, understudying Clémence in Love from Afar and performing Semele. Clémence is the biggest role I’ve ever learned, never mind the most difficult, but that made learning Semele so much easier. It’s made me a better musician and made me organize my time in a different way. In Fledermaus I am not as concerned about the music as I am about all that German dialogue! It will be so much fun, but you have to have that fluidity with the language.”
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001