UI School of Music takes a crack at German Operetta with ‘Die Fledermaus’

The Bat!
Die Fledermaus as performed by Opera in the Heights. — photo courtesy of

Interested in cooky German operettas? Of course you are.

This weekend at the Englert Theatre, the UI’s School of Music will be performing the famous Die Fledermaus Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., as well as Sunday at 2 p.m.

Die Fledermaus, translated from German to “The Bat,” was composed in 1874 by Johann Strauss II to a German libretto written by Karl Haffner and Richard Genée. While not quite as popular here, this is one of the most performed operettas in Europe.

Operettas — light operas — take a less serious tone than that of the traditional opera. The plot of Die Fledermaus, for example, swirls together a slew of strange and comedic events: A prince is throwing an extravagant ball for all to come, a very wealthy man must go to prison, his wife rekindles an old flame and a doctor seeks revenge for a bizarre prank from the past — all amplified through drunken confusion. To top it off, these events are perfectly complemented by Strauss’ jubilant melodies.

Die Fledermaus will make you laugh, tap your feet, and should appeal to those who might otherwise dismiss opera-esque entertainment, so come support the UI’s rendition of this German classic. Don’t worry, everything will be translated to English!

Tickets for this production, directed by Bill Theisen and conducted by William LaRue Jones, range from $20 for adults, $15 for seniors 65 and over, $10 for youth 17 and under, and University of Iowa students can get in for $5 with an ID. More information is available here.

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