CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 15, 2002
'Orlofsky's Ball' will benefit UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater
Prince Orlofsky -- famed as the most lavish host in all Vienna -- is helping
the University of Iowa Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater with a gala benefit
ball, to be presented at
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Orlofsky is actually a character from Johann Strauss popular operetta
Die Fledermaus (The bat), and Orlofskys Ball
will in reality be a concert performance of Die Fledermaus, with
a cast of UI opera students, the University Chamber Orchestra and conductor
William LaRue Jones. It will be performed in an English version prepared by
Shari Rhoads, vocal coach of the opera theater.
In a grand Viennese tradition, the operettas second act -- a lavish
masked ball at Orlofskys fabulous estate -- will offer a few surprises,
for the entertainment of the guests both on-stage and in the audience.
Proceeds from ticket sales will go to support future productions of the Martha-Ellen
Tye Opera Theater.
The intricate plot of Fledermaus is almost too complicated to
explain -- and almost irrelevant to the audiences enjoyment of the quick-moving
comedy and Strauss sparkling music. The Bat of the title
refers to an event that happened long before the operetta begins: Dr. Falke
was once embarrassed by the operettas main character, Eisenstein, while
wearing a bat costume for a fancy dress ball.
To get his revenge, the one-time bat arranges an elaborate ruse to lure Eisenstein
into a compromising situation. It seems that Eisenstein has been sentenced
to two weeks in prison for kicking a tax collector. Falke persuades Eisenstein
to stop off on his way to jail at a lavish party to be hosted by that mad
Russian prince, Orlofsky.
In the meantime, Eisensteins wife, Rosalinde, entertains her former
lover, Alfred, with an unconvincing show of reluctance. Having heard about
the husbands jail sentence, Alfred settles down for a cozy supper wearing
Eisensteins dressing gown -- until the jail warden shows up to escort
Eisenstein to jail! Caught in an awkward situation, Alfred chivalrously pretends
to be the guilty man, to protect Rosalindes reputation.
While Alfred spends the night in jail, the party at Orlofskys estate
proceeds with Falke, Eisenstein, the jail warden and Eisensteins maid
servant in attendance. When Eisenstein ardently pursues a mysterious Hungarian
countess -- actually his wife in disguise -- the deceptions and complications
escalate. The next morning finds all the major characters at the jail, where
the champagne haze gradually wears off and the operetta reaches its hilarious
The cast of UI opera students will feature Dennis Whilhoit as Eisenstein,
Sarah Amanda Hyberger as Rosalinde, Tara Warfield as the maid, Quiliano Anderson
as Alfred, Ryan Bernemann as Eisenstein's lawyer, Dr. Blind, David Playfair
as Dr. Falke, Edward Corpus as the jail warden, and Ann Cravero as Prince
Staging is by John Muriello from the UI voice faculty. Musical preparation
and vocal coaching are by Shari Rhoads.
Tickets to the benefit performance Orlofskys Ball are $25
for adults, $15 for UI students, children under 17 and seniors. Patron tickets
at $50 will include special concert seating and an invitation to the Afterglow
Party with the cast on stage after the performance, featuring refreshments
and a vocal quartet singing selected Liebeslieder Waltzes.
Tickets are available through the Hancher Auditorium box office. Box office
business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays.
From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free,
1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access,
seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped
with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through
Hanchers website:< http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher
Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students
may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff
may select the option of payroll deduction. Information may be requested by
The School of Music and Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater are part of the Division
of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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