Madcap operetta 'Die Fledermaus' returns to COC

Canadian tenor Michael Schade poses for a photograph in this undated handout photo. The Canadian Opera Company is reviving "Di Fledermaus," an effervescent operetta of mistaken identity and glamorous parties set in elegant, early 20th-century Vienna. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Harald Hoffmann - HO

TORONTO - The Canadian Opera Company is reviving "Die Fledermaus," an effervescent operetta of mistaken identity and glamorous parties set in early 20th-century Vienna.

It stars Canadian tenor Michael Schade and a largely Canadian cast and returns to the COC stage with a new production after more than 20 years.

As part of Culture Days, the COC is offering 500 people a rare chance to attend a portion of a Sept. 28 rehearsal, the company said in a statement.

Johann Strauss II outdid his own reputation as the “waltz king” of Vienna with "Die Fledermaus" by composing some of opera’s most enduring dance music for this comedy of elaborate revenge, disguises and mistaken identity.

Last with the COC in 2011’s "The Magic Flute," Schade performs the role of Gabriel von Eisenstein, an affluent gentleman who delays serving a short prison sentence by way of a quick frolic at an extravagant party.

Inspired by the operetta’s larger questions about a society dancing on the edge of ruin, director Christopher Alden sets this production in early 20th-century Vienna. He conjures up a glamorous world bubbling with extravagance and sophisticated wit, while gently mocking the duplicity of people and the larger social hypocrisies they inhabit.

COC music director Johannes Debus conducts the orchestra and chorus.

"Die Fledermaus" is sung in German with English surtitles and runs for 11 performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in October and early November. It's co-produced with English National Opera.

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Online: coc.ca