Johann Strauss II: Die Fledermaus

Johann Strauss II: Die Fledermaus

by John Nardolillo
     
 
The University of Kentucky Opera Theatre's recording of Johan Strauss II's "Die Fledermaus" is a warm and joyous one. Sung in an English adaptation by Richard Kagey, it is a very accessible recording for those who are new to opera and would like to get to know the art form better. Beginning with the buoyant overture conducted by John Nardolillo, the listener gets a

Overview

The University of Kentucky Opera Theatre's recording of Johan Strauss II's "Die Fledermaus" is a warm and joyous one. Sung in an English adaptation by Richard Kagey, it is a very accessible recording for those who are new to opera and would like to get to know the art form better. Beginning with the buoyant overture conducted by John Nardolillo, the listener gets a sense of fun and playfulness in the music. Nardolillo's orchestra plays beautifully throughout, at a level above what one would expect for a university production, especially with a rather small orchestra. The voices are well matched in timbre, size, and quality. Adele's voice complements Rosalinda's, which is fitting given that Adele is Rosalinda's maid. Alfredo is appropriately cast as a high tenor who is quite a vain, amorous ham; Dr. Falke has good dialogue with clear diction; and Dr. Blind stutters humorously as his character should. The most notable singers, however, are Nicholas Provenzale as Eisenstein (whose voice sounds the most professional and confident of all of the cast members), and Ellen Graham's trouser role as Prince Orlovsky (with her crisp yet full mezzo). Rosalinda's solos are quite lyrical and lovely, and her lower register is full and well supported. Adele's "Mein Herr Marquis" is performed quite nicely without any major flaws, hitting the high D at the end straight on. And one must not forget to pay heed to the chorus, which sounds full, rich, and quite together in the finale of Act II. Overall, the cast sings with very good diction, which makes it very easy to understand the dialogue as well as the arias. Naturally, as these are younger artists, there are bound to be some flaws and imperfections, and one cannot expect everything to be completely in place. Rosalinda and Falke fall slightly behind the beat toward the end of Act I; Alfredo's Italian accent could be more authentic; and perhaps all of the artists are a little too careful with the diction in the dialogues. Nonetheless, the recording certainly captures the spirit and the motion of this Strauss confection, and the English adaptation seems almost Gilbert and Sullivan-esque with the witty wordplay and rhyme. The production is certainly a credit to the artistic director Everett McCorvey. While the sound quality is quite clear and nice, it is often a bit soft. ~ V. Vasan

Product Details

Release Date:
07/13/2010
Label:
Albany Records
UPC:
0034061120124
catalogNumber:
1201/02

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Die Fledermaus (The Bat), operetta (RV 503)  - Johann Strauss  - Everett McCorvey  - Daniel Koehn  - Daniel Koehn  - John Nardolillo  -  University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra  - Caleb C. Ashby  - Caleb C. Ashby  -  Chorus of the University of Kentucky Opera Theare  - Dione Johnson  - Dione Johnson  - Ellen Graham  - Ellen Graham  - Gavin Wigginson  - Gavin Wigginson  - Julie Ladouceur  - Julie Ladouceur  - Luther Lewis  - Luther Lewis  - Michael Friedman  - Michael Friedman  - Nicholas Provenzale  - Nicholas Provenzale  - Reginald Smith  - Reginald Smith  - Shawn Ladouceur  - Tai-Kristin Smedley  - Tai-Kristin Smedley

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