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PSU Opera Workshop to perform ‘Die Fledermaus’

 

A high energy, comical operetta is coming to the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on two dates: Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 10 at 3 p.m.  

The PSU Opera Workshop will perform “Die Fledermaus”, an operetta by Johann Strauss II. The performance will tell the tale of Dr. Falke’s elaborate schemes to prank his friend, Eisenstein. 

“We are a small but mighty cast,” said Hannah Overbey, senior in music education, who plays Adele in the performance. “The music department is really close and so everybody knows each other and gets along really well. That’s been really fun to be able to work with them personally and professionally. I think it’s a lot easier to work with people you know because there’s a certain level of trust there.” 

Overbey has performed musically since sixth grade and started appearing in performances such as operas her freshman year of college.  

“I think college is definitely the time to try it,” Overbey said. “If you want to do something, you should, and like if you want to perform opera, we’re really flexible with your schedule. A lot of people think opera is very snooty or something, but it’s totally not.” 

The humorous plot of “Die Fledermaus” includes a ball in which the attendants disguise themselves, sing, dance, and have their fair share of drinks.  

“The best way to describe this cast is goofy,” said Kaden Wimmer, senior in communication, who plays Dr. Falke. “I mean, there’s not one second you can be backstage without hearing us laugh. We’re all great together, we’ve all worked with each other in the past, and so it’s all in all a truly amazing experience and we are just having fun with it.” 

The “Die Fledermaus” cast has worked to produce a strong performance for the PSU community, hoping to provide entertainment and laughs for all those who attend. 

“The main thing I’ve been doing is talking with my fellow actors and actresses and seeing, ‘how do we think our characters would interact with each other?’, and really making the role our own role,” Wimmer said. “We take bits and pieces from people all over the world who have done these characters, but we truly want to make this a Pittsburg State University performance.” 

For Wimmer, his time spent as Dr. Falke will be some of the last moments he spends as part of the PSU music department. 

“It’s been a long road, and this is my final college show,” Wimmer said. “It’s bittersweet; sweet that I had the opportunity before I graduate to leave my impression on this university, but bitter because you know, no matter what university I go to next, or going on with life, it will never be this cast again, so for me, personally, I want to leave it all out on stage.” 

The performance is directed by Patrick Howle, who has performed with the Connecticut Opera and in over 25 productions with Ohio Light Opera.  

“I’d like to thank a lot of people, especially the Bicknell staff for always being here every night during our rehearsals, and helping us with our dressing rooms, backstage, helping us get everything set up,” Wimmer said. “I’d especially like to thank Mr. Howell for helping me get involved with opera and everything he’s doing for this cast and putting on long stressful hours trying to get the show prepared.” 

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