Toronto Operetta Theatre opened a run of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus at the St. Lawrence Centre yesterday. It’s a revival of their 2018 production and I don’t think my opinion of the production has really changed. The jokes have been updated a bit; mostly to reflect the anticipated imprisonment of a certain former US president (I wish!). But basically the schtick is the same.
So let’s talk about the performances. The ladies are good. I really liked Andrea Núñez as Adele. She has the notes and the coloratura and she’s funny and sexy. What more can one ask for? Kirsten LeBlanc, formerly of Montreal’s Atelier Lyrique, was Rosalinde. Hers is not a small voice. Indeed, she sounded very loud indeed at times in the not especially large theatre. It was a classy performance which in a way was a problem. The problem was the combination of LeBlanc and a less weighty Eisenstein in Keith Klassen. As always he acted well and was funny. He’s good at that but he did tend to disappear when he was singing with LeBlanc.
Scott Rumble, as the tenor Alfred(o), on the other hand sang up a storm in his many interpolated bits of Verdi and Puccini. He also wore a costume that few tenors could carry off! Greg Finney was Orlofsky and played it fairly straight. The vocal weirdnesses that some Orlofskys inject were absent but he did convey a very convincing sense of ennui. Bill Silva-Marin reprised his Frosch and he remains a better, funnier Frosch than most. Colin MacKey as Falke and Handaya Rusli managed their roles perfectly adequately and Lori Mak made a decorative Sally. Derek Bate and the small orchestra made the most of the excellent score.
If Die Fledermaus has a flaw it’s that, while the music is excellent, there’s not enough of it. And there’s too much rather heavy handed German humour. But it it is what it is and the TOT version is really quite good and definitely worth seeing.
There are two more performances tomorrow and Saturday, both at 8pm.
Photos by Gary Beechey. In order:
- Scott Rumble as Alfredo and Elizabeth LeBlanc as Rosalinde
- Keith Klassen as Eisenstein and ColinMacKey as Falke
- Eisenstein and Rosalinde
- Andrea Núñez as Adele and Greg Finney as Orlofsky
- Bill Silva-Marin as Frosch and Alfredo