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Die Fledermaus: Meet the Eisensteins

April 15, 2008

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    April 15, 2008
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    Opera Carolina News

Die Fledermaus: Meet the Eisensteins

Opera Carolina is celebrating the conclusion of its 2007/2008 season with a masquerade ball! But beware - people are not always as they seem. Being performed for the first time since 1988, Johann Strauss's opera, Die Fledermaus (or "The Bat"), features a philandering husband-and-wife duo, Gabriel von Eisenstein and Rosalinde von Eisenstein. As both unveil the other's immodesties, the Eisenstiens and their friends celebrate reconciliation and the many masks of love. Bill Fabris (The Pirates of Penzance) returns to Opera Carolina to direct Die Fledermaus along with Opera Carolina veterans: soprano Robin Follman (La Boheme) as Rosalinde, Tenor Israel Lozano (Love Notes, La Vida Breve) as Alfred, Bass-Baritone Dan Boye (Madama Butterfly, Amahl & the Night Visitors) as Dr. Falke, and Baritone Keith Jurosko (The Pirates of Penzance) as Frosch. Baritone James Taylor makes his Opera Carolina debut singing the role of Eisenstein.

James Taylor has been described as "...impressive... a rich, focused baritone," "Richly musical," and "superb...his rich voice has great beauty as well as dramatic power." The internationally acclaimed baritone has performed with numerous opera houses and symphony orchestras, including the New York City Opera National Company and recitals in the Netherlands and Malaysia.

Singing opposite Taylor is Robin Follman, whose performance as Rosalinde in the Kansas City Opera production of Die Fledermaus recognized her in a role that tied "the show together with a rich, rousing soprano and the easy way she took the character through a remarkable range." Follman has also performed in the Andrea Boccelli A Royal Christmas Tour as well as recently completing her solo album Rare Verismo Arias. Also known for her commitment to education, Follman is the Director of Opera at Orange County High School of the Arts, one of the renowned young artist-training programs in the country.


Gabriel von Eisenstein, prone to crossing boundaries in both his private and public life, has recently been sentenced to a fortnight in jail for insulting an officer. Before his incarceration, Eisenstein's friend, Dr. Falke, invites him to a grand masquerade ball for a "whatever-happens-at-the-ball-stays-at-the ball" evening.

Like her husband, Rosalinde von Eisenstein enjoys leading a double life behind closed doors. Most recently she has been stringing along the local tenor, Alfred, whose constant singing begins to grind on everyone's nerves. When the governor of prisoners, who has come to take Eisenstein away to serve his sentence, catches the two of them canoodling, Rosalinde convinces Alfred to pretend that he is Gabriel von Eisenstein and serve her husband's jail time to save her reputation.

Dr. Falke's intentions for inviting the Eisensteins to a masquerade ball are not completely innocent, however. Not too long ago, Eisenstein left Dr. Falke passed out in the town square from a long night of revelry, dressed up as a bat, and open to the town's ridicule the next morning. As benign retribution, Dr. Falke orchestrates a masked ball that will bring both Eisenstein and his wife, Rosalinde, unwittingly into a flirtatious rendezvous in which they might fall in love with each other all over again.

Die Fledermaus will be performed in the Belk Theater of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center May 1 at 7:30 p.m., May 3 at 8:00 p.m. & May 4 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available now by calling 704.372.1000 or visit us online at www.operacarolina.org. Full cast listings and bios are available at: www.operacarolina.org/operas. To download images of this production please go to: www.operacarolina.org/about_media_photos.php. Current images available include: production photos, artist headshots, and the Opera Carolina logo.

Die Fledermaus is sung in English with projected English titles. All performances feature the Opera Carolina Chorus and The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Crosland and Wagner Noble make this production possible. Additional support provided by U.S. Airways, Tropical Images, Piedmont Music Center, and Blue Restaurant & Bar. Media support provided by The Charlotte Observer, Time Warner Cable, WCNC-TV, and WDAV.

Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, Opera Carolina today is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $3.5 million. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire the region's diverse community through the presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, Music Theater, and Education & Outreach programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera Carolina is a community resource with a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.

Opera Carolina is supported by the Arts & Science Council-Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Inc., The North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of North Carolina, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.
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