LNOBT’s Secretive Premiere: “Die Fledermaus”
Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre is preparing for a festive premiere – on 31 December we shall welcome a brand new production of Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus”. According to Gintautas Kėvišas, the general manager of the LNOBT, there was a wish to welcome the New Year with a festive, light and spectacular performance. Members of the creative team presented their work during a press conference held on Tuesday, however, they didn’t want to reveal all of their secrets. The only hints were given by the costumes created by Agnė Kuzmickaitė that graced the dark stage during the conference – mysteriously lit by the production’s lighting designer Levas Kleinas, they contributed beautifully to the overall atmosphere of the conference.
Director Gediminas Šeduikis mentioned that all members of the creative team were excited to use all of the impressive technical possibilities of the stage – Gediminas knows them very well since he’s been working at the LNOBT for ten years. “Die Fledermaus” shall mark the young director’s debut at this theatre – his other two works, “Lucia di Lammermoor” and “The Gypsy Baron”, were presented at the Kaunas State Musical Theatre. According to Gediminas, “Die Fledermaus” will be filled with unexpected surprises.
Set Designer Andu Dumitrescu (Romania) claimed that he even had to try and limit his creative imagination while making use of the very technically advanced stage. He also thanked all those who are helping to bring the production to life and usually remain in the shadow.
Costume Designer Agnė Kuzmickaitė was least secretive – she allowed us to take a glimpse at her costumes created for the female chorus soloists. Costumes of principal soloists are still being perfected at the workshops of the LNOBT, and they should be truly spellbinding. Some costumes shall also feature butterflies that have become A. Kuzmickaitė’s trademarks.
Music Director and Conductor of “Die Fledermaus” Martynas Staškus defined the production as a work that expresses point of view of the new generation. This “Die Fledermaus” won’t be extremely modernized – it could be classified as a stylistic revamping of traditional operetta. The musical side won’t experience any dramatic changes; the only interesting surprise shall be presented during the ball in the 2nd act – here we shall see a concert performed by singers of classical and popular music (and the singers might be changing for each performance of the operetta). According to M. Staškus, music of “Die Fledermaus” is very challenging and could be compared to opera. It is very easy to listen to this music, but performing it is a completely different story.
Regina Šilinskaitė, performer of the role of Rosalinde, was also singing the role of Adele in the legendary “Die Fledermaus” created by conductor Jonas Aleksa and director Vlada Mikštaitė. The soprano says that in her opinion Rosalinde, wife of a man who’s deceiving her, is not a comical character. Her shallow husband is played by tenor Audrius Rubežius – this time the creators are relying on the original version of “Die Fledermaus”, in which the role of Eisenstein is sung by a tenor. However, to keep up with local tradition and inspire some curiosity, the role shall also be interpreted by young baritone Jonas Sakalauskas. Latvian soprano Gunta Davidčuka is going to transform into Rosalinde’s ingenious maid Adele – and she’s going to sing and speak in Lithuanian!
Other performers include Viktorija Miškūnaitė and Julija Stupnianek (Rosalinde), Jurgita Lopetaitė and Irena Zelenkauskaitė (Adele), Arūnas Malikėnas and Ramūnas Urbintis (Falke), Kęstutis Alčauskis, Edmundas Seilius and Tomas Pavilionis (Alfredo), Jovita Vaškevičiūtė, Inesa Linaburgytė and Romualda Suchocka (Prince Orlofsky), Laura Zigmantaitė and Julija Karaliūnaitė (Ida), Egidijus Dauskurdis and Vytautas Bakula (Frank), Rafailas Karpis and Vytautas Kurnickas (Blind).
Exact performers for each evening shall be revealed just a couple of days before the premiere. Other performances of “Die Fledermaus” shall be shown on 3, 4 January, 2 February, 11, 27 April and 10 May.