CULTURE

Hardship and infidelity

The Thessaloniki Opera is set to stage an eight-night run of Johann Strauss’s «Die Fledermaus,» beginning this Saturday through February 18, at the Society for Macedonian Studies’ theater in Thessaloniki. Strauss’s immaculate operetta, which ranks as one of the Austrian composer’s best-known works, is directed by Zachos Terzakis. Apostolos Vettas is the production’s stage and costume designer, and the Thessaloniki Opera’s artistic director, Liza Xanthopoulou, will be at the podium leading the Thessaloniki Municipality’s Symphony Orchestra. Also on stage will be the city orchestra’s choir, performing for the first time in a production by the Thessaloniki Opera. The project’s musical parts will be performed in German with Greek supertitles, while all dialogue will be in Greek, with translations by Terzakis, the operetta’s director. Strauss’s peak Strauss’s work is set in Vienna in 1874, a time when the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s capital city had sunk into economic crisis. Working at his artistic peak, Strauss captured the city and region’s troubled spirit and manifested it superbly in this vibrant operetta. It premiered on April 5, 1874, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. Infidelity, economic hardships and crime are incorporated into the story of «Die Fledermaus,» set at a royal party where proceedings and mix-ups take place behind Carnival masks. The original source for «Die Fledermaus» was a farce by German playwright Julius Roderich Benedix, «Das Gefangnis» (The Prison). Another source is a French Vaudeville play, «Le Reveillon,» by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy. Cast members for the Thessaloniki Opera’s production include Sophia Voyiatzoglou and Alexandra Matheodaki, who will alternate in the role of Rosalinde over the operetta’s eight-night run; Costis Rasidakis and Giorgos Panayiotidis will alternate as Gabriel von Eisenstein; Ilias Rodis and Nikos Karagiaouris as Frank; Paul Zachariadis and Nikos Spanos as Prinz Orlofsky; and Constantinos Stavridis and Panayiotis Maniatis as Alfred.