Presented by State Opera
Reviewed 24 Oct 2017
Die Fledermaus is one of the most popular and well-known of the operettas. Filled with recognizable and delightful music, based around a plot of unmitigated silliness, it is a work with which much fun can be had.
State Opera, under the direction of David Lampard, has certainly done that. Johann Strauss II’s 1874 original has been updated with a modern, Beverly Hills setting. Lampard himself has adapted the dialogue from Lindy Hume’s English translation, and for the most part this works very well. The comic nature of the piece allows for contemporary references and additional stage business, such as Adele’s obsession with Instagram. It is only in Act III where it is over-done, and the constant movie references become repetitive and predictable, somewhat labouring the joke.
Lampard’s design is simple but effective, and is given depth by Judith Branford’s wonderful costuming and Nathan Luscombe’s beautiful lighting design.
Adam Goodburn gives a solid performances as Gabriel, and he and the always reliable Desiree Frahn as Rosalinda, work the chemistry well. Sarah-Jane Pattichis is a stand-out as Adele, demonstrating both strong comedic acting and a beautiful voice. Although she did strain on a couple of the higher notes, her top register was mostly clear, sweet and powerful.
Completing the cast are Karina Jay as Ida, Beau Sandford as Alfredo, Joshua Rowe as Dr Falke, Andrew Turner as Dr Blind, Rosanne Hosking as Prince Orlovsky and the brilliant Rod Schultz, demonstrating his physical comedy once again, as Frosch. The cast were all in fine voice, and bounced off each other, clearly having enormous fun. The State Opera Chorus, which never fails to deliver, once again showed how they work together with passion, energy and exquisite voices.
With the Adelaide Art Orchestra under the baton of Nicholas Braithwaite, the music could not have been in more capable hands.
This is a deliciously enjoyable night in the theatre. Funny, melodious, colourful and accessible, it is a great choice for younger patrons, or for opera “virgins”.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten