Lyric Opera of Chicago

Die Fledermaus opens tonight

For Immediate Release:
December 10, 2013

Reckless flirting? Elaborate pranking? Wild dancing?


Lyric Opera of Chicago presents a delightfully risqué holiday diversion,
an ebullient new-to-Chicago production of 

Die Fledermaus (The Bat’s Revenge)

 by Johann Strauss, Jr.

Just 9 performances December 10 through January 18

Juliane Banse, Bo Skovhus, Daniela Fally, Adrian Eröd,
Michael Spyres, Emily Fons, Andrew Shore, and David Cangelosi
Ward Stare, conductor
E. Loren Meeker, director
Daniel Pelzig, choreographer

Shameless flirting, false identities, dance-to-dawn partying, and free-flowing champagne – Die Fledermaus is in the house!! 

Johann Strauss, Jr.’s paean to Partytown, a.k.a. Vienna in the early 1870s, opens at Lyric Opera of Chicago December 10 in a new-to-Chicago production, with nine performances through January 18. 

All manner of uproarious intrigues and complications arise when Dr. Falke (baritone Adrian Eröd*) arranges for merry revenge on his pal Eisenstein (baritone Bo Skovhus) for having previously ditched him after a party, passed out on a park bench costumed as a bat, where passersby could mock him. Now Falke invites Eisenstein to a costume ball at the home of the bored young Count Orlofsky (mezzo-soprano Emily Fons) – when Eisenstein should be serving a brief jail sentence made longer by his bungling lawyer Dr. Blind (tenor David Cangelosi). Meanwhile, the warden Frank (baritone Andrew Shore) shows up to escort Eisenstein to jail before heading off to Orlofsky’s. He finds Eisenstein’s wife, Rosalinde (soprano Juliane Banse*) with someone who appears to be her husband, but is actually her ex-lover Alfred (tenor Michael Spyres*). Rosalinde, being a Good Wife who has her reputation to consider, sends Alfred off to jail and then heads to Orlofsky’s ball disguised as a Hungarian countess. There she sees her husband flirting with her chambermaid, Adele (soprano Daniela Fally**), who has shown up disguised as an actress – and wearing Rosalinde’s dress! (*Lyric debuts, ** American debut)

There’s plenty of spirited sneaking around, all engineered by Falke to embarrass Eisenstein and amuse the Count. The dance-craze music of the time, written by the waltz king himself, Johann Strauss. Jr., propels the story at a delightfully dizzying pace. (It’s not all 3/4 time; there are some lively polkas and marches thrown in during Act Two, setting the stage for some dazzling ballet.) Everyone winds up in jail (or at least visiting) the next morning, but not for long.

Die Fledermaus is conducted by Ward Stare and directed by E. Loren Meeker (Lyric directorial debut). The elegant sets are designed by Wolfram Skalicki, with sumptuous costumes by Thierry Bosquet. Duane Schuler is the lighting designer. Chorus master is Michael Black and the choreographer is Daniel Pelzig.  

Lyric will present performances Dec. 10, 13, 16, 18, 21, and Jan. 18 at 7:30pm, and matinees Jan. 10, 12, and 15 at 2:00pm. Die Fledermaus is sung and spoken in German with projected English translations – in rhyming couplets.

The Lyric Opera presentation of Die Fledermaus is generously made possible by
the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation and Katherine A. Abelson and Robert J. Cornell.  

Production owned by San Francisco Opera Association.

For tickets and information call (312) 827-5600 or go to

Lyric’s Discovery Series session on Die Fledermaus features a discussion with singers Bo Skovhus, Juliane Banse, Daniela Fally, conductor Ward Stare, director E. Loren Meeker, and Lyric Opera dramaturg Roger Pines. To listen to the podcast, go to