Ouachita Opera Theatre to present “Die Fledermaus” Oct. 31-Nov. 3

Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music/Opera Theatre will present Johann Strauss II’s comedic opera Die Fledermaus, or “The Revenge of the Bat,” on Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. as well as a matinee performance on Nov. 3 at 2:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at www.obu.edu/boxoffice. Students with a current OBU ID may receive one free ticket.

“Our cast is one of the best we have ever assembled for an operatic production at OBU,” said Dr. Jon Secrest, music director and conductor of the opera and coordinator of Ouachita’s vocal studies program. Secrest added that the opera contains “beautiful soaring melodies” and that the audience should recognize many of the tunes.

Set in Vienna during the Victorian Era, Die Fledermaus is a three-act opera centered on retribution and mistaken identities of prisoners, wives, old flames and old friends at Prince Orlofsky’s ball. As a comedy, audience members should “be ready for an evening of fun and laughter,” said Dr. Glenda Secrest, stage director of the opera and professor of music at Ouachita.

According to Jon Secrest, the audience will also enjoy “the visual spectacle of the grand Viennese style.” Costumes for the performance will be rented from a professional company in New York, and “are going to be incredible,” said Kaylee Nebe, a junior musical theatre major from Mesquite, Texas, who heads the costume crew.

Also involved in the production are David Stanley, instructor of music, who serves as chorus master for the show; Joey Licklider, JPAC manager, who serves as technical director; and Dallas Sleeman, a sophomore theatre arts major from Kentwood, Mich., who serves as stage manager.

Those interested in the story but unfamiliar with the operatic genre should not be intimidated, Jon Secrest said. “Our audience members are surprised at how entertaining the OBU Opera Theatre productions are,” he noted. Nebe added that it should “be really easy for the audience to follow along and invest in the story.”

Primary cast members for the production will include: Chad Burris, a junior musical theatre major from Van Buren, Ark., as Alfredo; Tara Clem, a sophomore musical theatre major from Texarkana, Texas, as Ida; Todd McNeel, a junior mass communications and speech communication major from Grand Prairie, Texas, as Frogg; Victoria Mantooth, a senior vocal performance major from Sherwood, Ark., as Orlofsky (this role also is covered by Sarah Talley, a junior vocal performance major from Bella Vista, Ark.); Joel Rogier, a senior vocal performance major from Glen Carbon, Ill., as Eisenstein; Seth Russell, a sophomore vocal performance major from Crossett, Ark., as Dr. Falke; Caitlin Secrest, a senior vocal performance major from Arkadelphia, Ark., as Rosalinda; Jillian Turner, a junior vocal performance and music major from Fort Worth, Texas, as Adele; Josh Wayne, a junior choral music education major from Ozark, Mo., as Frank; and Jalin Wesley, a sophomore musical theatre major from Little Rock, Ark., as Dr. Blind.

Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at the Jones Performing Arts Center Box Office weekdays from 1-5 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.obu.edu/boxoffice. Students with a valid OBU ID may receive one free ticket. For more information, call the box office at (870) 245-5555 during business hours.

For a full list of cast, crew and orchestra personnel, visit http://www.obu.edu/news/?p=6258.