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Well, hello, my faithful readers! It has been a few weeks, hasn’t it? If you read Ryan’s post, then you probably already have an idea of what I am going to talk about: our upcoming operetta, “Die Fledermaus"! This will be my second opera to perform in at Bethel. My freshman year I was in “The Magic Flute,” which was a lot of fun, so I was excited to have another chance to be in an opera here. I was also in the musical, “The Light in the Piazza,” last year (we alternate between musical and opera each year). You may have noticed I wrote “operetta” instead of opera. I’m not an expert on this stuff, but from my understanding, operettas are always more comical than regular operas and also have more dialogue. This is definitely true of “Die Fledermaus"–we’ve been rehearsing for almost a month now, and we’re still laughing during rehearsals!
Anyway, even if you did read Ryan’s post, I might have a little different spin on the experience of the opera considering I play someone of the opposite sex.
My character’s name is Prince Orlofsky. He is a wealthy, stuck-up Russian who supposedly cannot laugh because he is bored with everything. The entire second act (out of three acts) takes place in his palace, where he is hosting a big party. What some of the guests don’t realize, though, is that the entire thing is a set-up that is part of Dr. Falke’s diabolical plan to publicly humiliate his best friend, Eisenstein. Now why would someone want to do such a thing to his best friend? Unfortunately, telling you would spoil the surprise! You’ll have to come find out on March 4 or 6 at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium .
Anyway…back to reflecting on my character. It all started fairly simply. The voice range was written for a mezzo-soprano, which I am, so it is actually normal for the part to be played by a woman. I still have yet to figure out why composers such as Strauss would write male roles like this, but I do the best I can! Everything has to change: my hand gestures, the way I sit, the way I walk, and, of course, the way I talk. It’s amazing how differently men and women carry themselves–I never really thought much about until now! Then came the wig and the handlebar mustache. That’s right–while Ryan doesn’t get a mustache for his character, I do!
Sometimes I’m a little disappointed that I have to wear a mustache and a tuxedo while all the other girls are spruced up with their fancy hairdos and ball gowns. But I can’t complain, either–after all, when else besides during my time at Bethel will I have a chance to have a lead role in an opera?
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