Note: This is a review of Cast B from St. Olaf’s production of Die Fledermaus.
St. Olaf College’s barebones staging of Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus is light on set pieces, high on boudoir comedy, and filled with pleasant musical performances. Dale Kruse conducts a chamber sextet that adds a little oomph compared to the normal piano reduction; James McKeel’s stage direction keeps things moving decently. The opera is presented in English.
Of the singers, senior Samantha Noonan is the standout as Rosalinda, with a deft humor and sparkling soprano. Her onstage husband Eisenstein (senior Nicholas Swanson) has a pleasing voice, although the score doesn’t provide a lot to the character in the aria department. That honor in the male department goes to senior JW Keckley, who as the main love interest Alfred gave a pleasant rendition of “Trinke, Liebchen, trinke schnell.” (This, as with all the other parts of the opera, were rendered in English.) Junior Samuel Parker stood out as Falke with his sonorous baritone.
Die Fledermaus plays through Oct. 22 at St. Olaf College’s Urness Recital Hall in Northfield, MN.