Die Fledermaus

It’s Prince Orlovsky’s costume ball and everyone is in disguise and, according to mezzo--soprano Susan Graham, desperately trying to reinvent themselves. The upcoming Houston Grand Opera production of the comic operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat) has been reset to the 1930s, which makes it more chic and more relevant, Graham says. “We’re in the 1930s post-stock market crash and everyone is frenzied and desperate to create an alternative reality, desperate to be something they are not.” Graham, who has been covered in honors in recent years, is the 2013-14 Lynn Wyatt Great Artist here to sing the trouser role of Prince Orlovsky, a role she hasn’t performed since college (Texas Tech and the Manhattan School of -Music) but was ready to do again. “Orlovsky: He’s a prince, he’s one of those spoiled, bored, entitled kind of guys,” says Graham, who adds that she’s always enjoyed the athleticism of being able to portray a man onstage. “You can be saucy and sloppy. You’re leaping onto and off the furniture and we have to jump out of windows,” she says. “And it’s fun to swan around in a white tuxedo.” The music, by “The Waltz King,” Johann Strauss II, “will be familiar whether you know it or not,” she promises (it’s been used in cartoons, commercials and snippets of movies). Baritone Liam Bonner sings the Eisenstein role, Wendy Bryn Harmer is Rosalinde and Laura Claycomb is Adele. This is the first time in three decades that HGO is putting on Die Fledermaus; this production is an original from Opera Australia, sung in English with projected text. 7:30 p.m. October 25, November 2 and 8, 2 p.m. October 27 and November 10. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-228-6737 or visit houstongrandopera.org. $18 to $370.25.
Fri., Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 27, 2 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 10, 2 p.m., 2013
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
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