The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) is throwing an early New Year’s Eve party and everyone is invited. Johann Strauss II’s opera Die Fledermaus promises to thrill audiences with sparkling performances on Saturday 10, Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Thursday 15 and Saturday 17 December that are perfect way to welcome in the festive season.
The story of Die Fledermaus is one that will appeal to everyone whether you are a newcomer to opera or a regular. The setting takes you to the New Year’s Eve party of Prince Orlofsky and in this production that means the glamour of going aboard a grand liner. The story is one of intrigue, mistaken identity and playful vengeance all combining to create onstage magic. You’ll be stepping back in time, but not too far, as you are transported to the cusp of the millennium. It’s the year 1999 and with those heady days comes the fashion, style and dance references of the time.
As an operetta Die Fledermaus features both music and dialogue, all of which will be in English, helping to make it a production that can be enjoyed by all ages. Over 100 students are involved in the colourful and lavish production, including the principal performers, chorus and full orchestra. David Parry will be conducting and the stage direction is under Stephen Barlow; working with these two internationally renowned artists is one of the highlights of the experience for RNCM students.
Kevin Thraves, Deputy Head of Opera for RNCM, says, “We are delighted to welcome David Parry and Stephen Barlow to the RNCM to lead the artistic team for this new production of Die Fledermaus. The rehearsal process and five public performances provide fantastic educational opportunities to a large number of our talented students across all schools of the College. Setting this famous operetta on the eve of the millennium is a fresh approach to this timeless classic. Packed full of tunes from start to finish, it is a perfect choice for our Christmas production.”
As the RNCM starts the celebrations for its 50th anniversary it’s fitting that opera is part of the programme given that it has been a key part of the College’s focus since it was founded. The College is now recognised as one of the world’s leading training centres for opera, from where students have gone on to perform at Glyndebourne, The Royal Opera House, Opera North, Gothenburg Opera, Scottish National Opera and Metropolitan Opera, New York. As a nod to its rich heritage, joining the performances of Die Fledermaus will be special appearances by one or two past RNCM faces.
Whether you decide you want to go for 90s retro, make an occasion of it, or play it more casual there is no dress code for opera at the RNCM. There are also no age restrictions for Die Fledermaus and with all the vocals and dialogue in English (as well as accompanying surtitles) the story will engage from the overture. You can make an occasion of it with a visit to RNCM’s Café Bar, where for those wanting to get in the party spirit you can enjoy a glass of bubbles along with a range of snacks, pizzas and more.
Die Fledermaus will take place in RNCM Theatre, a state of the art performance space that seats over 600 people. The programme is two hours and 50 minutes (including two intervals).
Tickets are £12.50 for under 16s and students, or £25 full price and bookable HERE.
To find out about RNCM’s full events programme for its 50th anniversary visit rncm.ac.uk/rncm50. Keep up to date with the latest RNCM news by subscribing to receive updates here or by following RNCM on social media: Twitter @rncmlive, Facebook @rncmlive, and Instagram @rncmlive.