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Johann Strauss Operetta DIE FLEDERMAUS to Play Light Opera Works This Winter


Light Opera Works presents the Johann Strauss operetta DIE FLEDERMAUS (in English) with a 30-piece orchestra, December 26, 2016- January 1, 2017, at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston.

Husband and wife meet at a party neither is supposed to be attending -- and he unwittingly woos his disguised mate. Johann Strauss' ode to champagne and indiscretion features many famous melodies loved the world over.

DIE FLEDERMAUS is directed and staged by Light Opera Works artistic director Rudy Hogenmiller, and conducted by Roger L. Bingaman.

The cast includes Kelly Britt (Adele), Michael Cavalieri (Eisenstein), Alicia Berneche (Rosalinda), WilLiam Roberts (Dr. Falke), Tobias Wright (Alfred), Dennis M. Kalup (Dr. Blind), Russell Hoke (Frank), Billy Dwyer (Prince Orlofsky) and Tim Kazurinsky (Frosch).

The design/production team includes Adam Veness (scenic), Jana Anderson (costume), Andrew H. Meyers (lighting), Aaron Quick (sound), Alice Salazar (hair and make-up), Shannon Rourke (stage manager) and Katie Beeks (production manager).

DIE FLEDERMAUS is sponsored by the Pauls Foundation, with additional funding from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

Ticket prices for DIE FLEDERMAUS start at $34. Ages 25 and younger are half price. To order tickets, or for more information, visit the Light Opera Works box office at 516 4th Street in Wilmette, call (847) 920-5360, or order 24 hours a day online at


Rudy Hogenmiller (Director), artistic director of Light Opera Works, has directed and choreographed many productions for the company including LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU: Jule Styne'S GREATEST HITS, MAME, MY FAIR LADY, GUYS AND DOLLS, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE FANTASTICKS, THE MERRY WIDOW, Cole Porter'S GREATEST HITS, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, H.M.S. PINAFORE, OLIVER!, MAN OF LA MANCHA, CAMELOT, BRIGADOON, HELLO, DOLLY!, THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, KISS ME, KATE, THE MIKADO, and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Hogenmiller was seen on stage in 2014 as Mr. Applegate in DAMN YANKEES and as the Emcee in CABARET in 2013. He has been recognized with six Joseph Jefferson Awards and 17 nominations for best direction and choreography in Chicago, and has been a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers for more than 35 years.

Roger L. Bingaman (Music Director and Conductor) conducts the 30-piece DIE FLEDERMAUS orchestra. He has conducted MAME, MY FAIR LADY, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE FANTASTICKS, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, DAMN YANKEES, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, H.M.S. PINAFORE, OLIVER!, CAMELOT, THE SECRET GARDEN, THE STUDENT PRINCE, BRIGADOON, HELLO, DOLLY!, I DO! I DO!, CAROUSEL, THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC at Light Opera Works, where he has held many positions, including conductor, chorus master, assistant conductor and pianist. He was named the company's music director in 2005. Since 1999, "Bing" has been the director of the apprentice program and chorus master for the Sarasota Opera, where he began his tenure in 1998 as an assistant conductor. He is music director of Irving Park Lutheran Church and artistic director of the Irving Park Fine Arts Series; also choir director and organist at Ezra Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish congregation in Skokie. He has worked with Lyric Opera's Opera-in-the-Neighborhoods program, Michigan Opera Theatre, the Savoyaires, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Dayton Opera, Opera Lenawee and Opera Lafayette, among other companies.

Michael CavalierI (Eisenstein) appeared with Light Opera Works in H.M.S. PINAFORE as Captain Corcoran, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC as Carl Magnus and THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE as the Pirate King. He performed Grieg's FOUR HYMNS with the Chicago Chorale and Belcore in L'ELISIR D'AMORE in the Opera Up Close series at Governor's State University. Cavalieri premiered the role of the Announcer in Gustavo Leone's THE LEADER at the Goodman Theatre and made more than a dozen contributions to the complete recording of the songs of Charles Ives for the Naxos label. In collaboration with RealTime Opera and So Percussion, he debuted the title role in FEYNMAN, a one-act mixed media opera for percussion and baritone. Cavalieri sang the role of Pangloss for the Milanese debut of Bernstein's CANDIDE with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano. He is a frequent performer and collaborator with Governors State University's Opera Up Close series and sings in the ensembles of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Grant Park Music Festival.

Alicia Berneche (Rosalinda) returns to Light Opera Works, where she was Agnes Gooch in MAME, Marian in THE MUSIC MAN, Sarah in BITTER SWEET, Mabel in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, Phyllis in IOLANTHE, Elsie Maynard in THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, and sang in OPERETTA'S GREATEST HITS and HOLLYWOOD'S GREATEST SONG HITS. She has starred on opera stages around the globe, often specializing in contemporary works, including appearances at Lyric Opera of Chicago as Daisy Buchanan in THE GREAT GATSBY and Helen Niles in MOURNING BECOMES ELEKTRA. Alicia has performed at the Goodman Theatre, London's Barbican Centre, and the Brooklyn Academy Of Music in the world premiere of Philip Glass' and Mary Zimmerman's GALILEO GALILEI. She has originated leading roles in more than 10 world premiere operas and orchestral pieces, and has sung with celebrated conductors and ensembles, including CARMINA BURANA with the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä and LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Zubin Mehta. Alicia just completed a sold-out production with Milwaukee Opera Theatre of THANK YOU, NEXT!, an opera she wrote with composer Tim Rebers, and a tour of Scotland and England in Chamber Opera Chicago's PERSUASION

Kelly Britt (Adele) returns to Light Opera Works after appearing this season in LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU: Jule Styne'S GREATEST HITS, the ensembles for MY FAIR LADY (Eliza understudy) and MAME (Gooch understudy). A native of Hartland, Wisconsin, and recent resident of San Francisco, CA, she has performed opera and musical theater throughout the West Coast and now brings her talents to the Midwest. Her credits include THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Maria, Shellie Award nominee), THE MUSIC MAN (Marian Paroo, Shellie Award nominee), GUYS AND DOLLS (Sarah Brown), 110 IN THE SHADE (Lizzie), CITY OF ANGELS (Gabby/Bobbi), IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, A LIVE RADIO PLAY (Mary), THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO (Susanna, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nominee), DON GIOVANNI (Donna Anna), CARMEN (Micaela), and GIULIO CESARE (Cleopatra). Kelly received her undergraduate degree in vocal performance from Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts and her graduate degree in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

WilLiam Roberts (Dr. Falke) made his Light Opera Works debut in LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU: Jule Styne'S GREATEST HITS. He will play Tony Esposito in THE MOST HAPPY FELLA this March with Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre. He sang roles with Sarasota Opera from 2012 to 2016, including General Polkan in THE GOLDEN COCKEREL, Alcindoro in LA BOHÈME and Gandalf/Smaug in THE HOBBIT. He spent three seasons with Tri-Cities Opera, including the four villains in LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN, the title role in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, and Dulcamara in L'ELISIR D'AMORE. Mr Roberts made his professional debut singing Don Basilio in IL BarbierE DE SIVIGLIA and Don Bartolo in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Opera Carolina. Equally at home in musical theater and operetta, he spent two seasons with College Light Opera Company, where his credits include Pooh Bah in THE MIKADO, Cosmo Constantine in CALL ME MADAM, Ettiene Grandet in NAUGHTY MARIETTA, and Tony Esposito in THE MOST HAPPY FELLA.

TOBIAS WRIGHT (Alfred) returns to Light Opera Works, where he was previously seen as Raoul de St. Brioche in THE MERRY WIDOW, and as an ensemble member in H.M.S. PINAFORE. Tobias recently finished recording the world premiere of Ross Crean's THE GREAT GOD PAN for Naxos America, in which he sang the role of Clarke. Mr. Wright has been seen by Chicago audiences as Juan in the world premiere of ANDINA, as a member of the jazz trio in TROUBLE IN TAHITI with Chicago Fringe Opera, and as Al Joad in THE GRAPES OF WRATH with Northwestern University Opera Theatre. Tobias will return to Sarasota Opera as an Apprentice Artist for the 2017 winter season, followed by performances as George Gibbs in OUR TOWN with Chicago Fringe Opera in the spring. Tobias also is co-host of the popular radio show OPERA BOX SCORE.

William Dwyer (Orlofsky) is a native Chicagoan and Northwestern University alumnus. Past credits with Light Opera Works include Freddy in MY FAIR LADY and Camille de Rosillon in THE MERRY WIDOW. Other Chicago credits include Sumeida in Third Eye Ensemble's SUMEIDA'S SONG, Fenton in Main Street Opera's FENTON, Chicago Opera Theater's double bill of THE EMPEROR OF ATLANTIS and THE CLEVER ONE (DIE KLUGE). Other engagements include Steve Baker in SHOW BOAT and Il Ufficiale in IL BarbierE DE SIVIGLIA with Central City Opera, and Basilio in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Opera North. He has participated in young artist programs and covered roles with Chautauqua Opera, Opera North, Sarasota Opera, Central City Opera and Chicago Opera Theater.

RUSSELL HOKE (Frank) made his Light Opera Works debut as Big Jule in GUYS AND DOLLS. He has been seen on stages in Italy, Great Britain, Brazil, and all over the U.S. performing a variety of operatic roles, including the Villains in LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN, Germont in LA TRAVIATA, Bartolo in IL BarbierE DI SIVIGLIA, Dulcamara in L'ELISIR D'AMORE and the title role of NABUCCO.

DENNIS M. KALUP (Dr. Blind) makes his Light Opera Works debut in DIE FLEDERMAUS. He recently arrived in Chicago from Philadelphia, where he performed often with the Philadelphia Singers, Vox Ama Deus Ensemble, and the Chorus of the Philadelphia Opera. In Chicago he has performed with the Vox 3 Collective, Opera on Tap, and the Thompson Street Opera Company. Upcoming roles include Kaspar in AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS with Fury Theatre, Contino Belfiore in LA FINTA GIARDINIERA with Opera Moda, Lord Tolloller in IOLANTHE with Hyde Park's Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, and as a member of the jazz trio in TROUBLE IN TAHITI with New Moon Opera.

Alexis Armstrong (Ida) returns to Light Opera Works after appearing as Sally Cato in MAME and in the ensembles of SOUTH PACIFIC and THE MERRY WIDOW. She was most recently onstage as Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot with Highland Park Players after previous appearances there in A CHORUS LINE (Cassie) and CATS (Bombalurina). Other credits include THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (Janet) and JANE EYRE, THE MUSICAL (Jane Eyre) with Big Noise Theater. Alexis is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and studied at the British American Drama Academy of London. She teaches theater for children with Broadway Bound, has been a guest teacher at Elmhurst College and choreographed several musical productions in the area.

Tim Kazurinsky (Frosch) is making his debut at Light Opera Works. A screenwriter/actor, Tim got his start at Second City, moved on to NBC's SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (where he appeared from 1981 to 1984). and played Officer Sweetchuck in three POLICE ACADEMY films. Recently, Tim was the Wizard of Oz in the First National Tour of WICKED and made his Broadway debut in AN ACT OF GOD. Chicago theatre credits include A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), FUNNYMAN and THE ODD COUPLE (Northlight Theatre), HAIRSPRAY (Drury Lane Oakbrook) and OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES (Royal George Theatre). Screenwriting credits include ABOUT LAST NIGHT..., FOR KEEPS, THE CHEROKEE KID and STRANGE RELATIONS, for which he received a BAFTA nomination. Other film roles include NEIGHBORS, CONTINENTAL DIVIDE, SHAKES THE CLOWN and ROLL BOUNCE. Television appearances include ACCORDING TO JIM, MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, EARLY EDITION and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM.

Light Opera Works is a resident professional not-for-profit theater in Evanston, founded in 1980. The company's mission is to produce and present musical theater from a variety of world traditions. All productions are presented in English, with foreign works done in carefully edited modern translations. Maximum scholarship is employed to preserve the original vocal and orchestral material as well as the spirit of the original text whenever possible. Audiences know that at Light Opera Works they will experience repertoire often unavailable on the stages of commercial theaters and opera houses, in modern productions with professional artists and full orchestra.

Light Opera Works' mission is to produce musical theater from a variety of world traditions, to engage the community through educational and outreach programs, and to train artists in musical theater.

Photo credit: Rich Forman

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