Die Fledermaus was written in the midst of the shadow of the economic crisis that had ravaged Austria in 1873 and has now become one of the most popular operettas of all time. It is included in the repertoires of most of the world's great opera houses. Its' setting is Vienna in the second half of the nineteenth century and revolves around a baron who is guilty of a minor offense and must spend several days in prison.
The plot of the operetta, with its usual mistaken identities and marital infidelities, is not to be taken seriously. But the music is something else, and has been loved by opera-goers since 1874. Stage director Floy Quintos has moved the setting from turn-of-the-century Vienna to the twilight of German democracy, just before Hitler rose to power in 1933.
The grand production includes Rachelle Gerodias (reigning soprano in Southeast Asia), soprano Nenen Espina (who plays of all things - Orlofsky, a Russian prince), tenors Randy Gilongo, Ronan Ferrer and Abdul Candao, baritone Noel Azcona, and many other talents. Herminigildo Ranera and Korean conductor Jae Joon Lee conduct the UST Symphony Orchestra.
My verdict: Excellent acting and the singing was faultless. My only gripe all throughout the night was the diction. For heaven's sake, they surely had time to practice enunciation? We were straining to understand what the characters were saying half the time...
Nevertheless, Pep and I enjoyed ourselves at the cast meet-and-greet afterwards. We gleefully took photos with each of the cast members, even posing the "Korean way" with the Korean conductor. Will post them once Pep figures out how to upload them via the internet - hahaha!
technorati tags: entertainment, theater, musicals, operetta, johann strauss, die fledermaus