Danny Burstein, Betsy Wolfe Make Met Debuts in DIE FLEDERMAUS, Opening Tonight
A new production of Johann Strauss Jr.'s New Year's Eve classic, the comedic operetta Die Fledermaus, will open at the Met tonight, December 31, with two Broadway stars appearing.
Jeremy Sams, writer and creator of the Met's Baroque pastiche, The Enchanted Island, makes his company debut as director with the new staging, which is set in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. Sams also contributes new lyrics for Strauss's work, which will be performed entirely in English; Tony Award-nominated playwright Douglas Carter Beane makes his Met debut with new dialogue. Adam Fischer conducts a cast of rising opera stars and Broadway performers. The cast is led by Susanna Phillips and Christopher Maltman as the unhappily married Rosalinde and Eisenstein; Jane Archibald as Rosalinde's feisty maid, Adele; Anthony Roth Costanzo as Prince Orlofsky; Michael Fabiano as Rosalinde's former lover, Alfred; Paulo Szot as the bumbling Dr. Falke; and Patrick Carfizzi as the prison superintendent, Frank.
This will be the Met's fourth production of Die Fledermaus, which had its company premiere in 1905. Previous stagings include the 1950 production, directed by Garson Kanin and conducted by Eugene Ormandy, which was performed entirely in English as translated by Kanin and lyricist Howard Dietz. The most recent production, a 1986 staging by Otto Schenk, was sung in German with English dialogue, translated by Marcel Prawy. In the Met's 1998-99 season, the Broadway team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green provided new English dialogue and a revised storyline for the operetta, though the music was still sung in German.
Jeremy Sams, a playwright, director, translator, and composer, wrote and devised the world-premiere pastiche The Enchanted Island, which opened at the Met on New Year's Eve 2012. His Broadway credits as a director include a revival of Michael Frayn's farce Noises Off and the Jason Robert Brown musical 13. In his native England, he received an Olivier Award nomination for directing the musical Spend Spend Spend and has also staged adaptations of The Wizard of Oz on the West End andEducating Rita at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He received a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical for his English adaptation of Amour, a Michel Legrand musical that opened on Broadway in 2002, and adapted the film Chitty Chitty Bang Banginto a stage production that played on both Broadway and the West End.
Douglas Carter Beane earned Tony nominations for his play The Little Dog Laughed (2006) and for the books of the musicals Xanadu (2007), Sister Act (2011), Lysistrata Jones (2011), and Cinderella (2013). His other works include The Nance,which opened on Broadway in 2013; and the off-Broadway plays Mr. & Mrs. Fitch (2010); Mondo Drama (2003); Music From a Sparkling Planet (2001); The Country Club (1999); As Bees in Honey Drown (1997); and Advice From a Caterpillar (1991).
Adam Fischer made his Met debut in 1994 conducting Verdi's Otello. In subsequent seasons with the company, he has led performances of Rossini's IL Barbiere di Siviglia, Verdi's Aida, and Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. He is the music director of the Austro-HungarIan Haydn Orchestra and the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Chief Conductor of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra.