ŠIKŠNOSPARNIS – Die Fledermaus in Vilnius
Die Fledermaus, Operette by Johann Strauss, “ŠIKŠNOSPARNIS” in Lithuanian language – , was premiered at The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vilnius, Monday 31. January 2012.
We attended the premiere of the good second cast January 3rd 2013.
Review by Henning Høholt, All photos by Martynas Aleksa
VILNIUS: The Orchestra has done a great job during the rehersals under the music chief Martynas Staškus, it really sounded Johann Strauss, the ouverture was brilliant to Die Fledermaus.
However. To get an operetta to be a success requires the additional musical feeling, that rare combination of and understanding that it is not an opera, nor a normal stage play, but an internationally well known operetta. Where all the little decorative details and peculiarities that lies in the combination of the story, the comic detail, the music will become a natural whole, so that it becomes entertainment to the public. The stage director, Gediminas Šeduikis, has, seen with my eyes and experience in this field, not succeeded with his version of Die Fledermaus.
Although there are many fun opportunities in the play’s text, performed in Lithuanian language. It didn´t reach out to the audience, and the audience was not amused. However it was clear that the regisseur has been working a lot with the personal instruction of the participating cast, and for the choire choreography with good help by the choreographer Edita Stundyté.
The choire, directed by Česlovas Radžiūnas, sounded brilliant in all their brilliant great choire parts. It was a pleasure, the tempi had the right Strauss feeling. Not the wrong Strauss feeling that we heard at the premiere of Blue Danube last New Year. Now it sounds really Johan Strauss.
The soloists were good, headed by the brilliant Rosalinde elegantly performed and sung by Regina Silinskaite, her famouse Czardas was first class. And her beautiful outfits by costymier Agné Kuzmickaite, inclusive the elegany wig for second act was deliciouse. she was closely followed up by the young handsome tenor Jonas Sakalauskas in the demanding role as Gabriel von Eisenstein, a role which includes so many different characters, that he managed very well with a good glimpse in his eyes. Furthermore presenting a beautiful voice with many good details.
Other pleasant acquaintances was Arunas Malikenas as Dr. Falke, good in every part of his role
. And the young Tomas Pavilionis as Alfred, he has a lyric voice, well suited for this role, with an italian sound.
Adele was sung by Irene Zelenkauskaite, acting well, but she has been better as for exempel Violetta Valery and Gilda. As Adele she had, for my choise, too much vibrato some times. And her costumes was not particularly succesfully. But as a total the leading soloists was musically functioning good.
Unfortunately I was missing the sexually attraction between Tomas Pavilionis as Alfred and Regina Silinskaite as Rosalinde
. The history tells that she can´t resist her former lover Alfred when he sings his high tunes. The audience didn´t understand any of that.
Furthermore many amusing details in the first act was lost
. such as the detail that Adele, after having received the invitation to Prince Orlovskys ball, going to happen the same evening, first asks for getting permission to visit hers seek aunt. First, she is not getting that permission, but later when Rosalinde understand that her former lover Alfred plans to come for a visit, when her husband Eisenstein is leaving for going to the jail, suddenly in a hurry she gives Adele permission to travel and visit his aunt. Furthermore, that Adele will try to borrow one of Rosalindes many elegant evening gowns to wear for the company.
Another detail that could have had humor in it self, is when Alfred, – as used to be in the house alone with Rosalinde, is undressing behind the couch and finally arrive in some shapeless ugly long boxer shorts, then the stage director lost a fun surprising detail for the audience, as the boxer shorts, is neither clever, original or sexy, just bulky and ugly.
The costumes by Agné Kuzmickaite are good, nothing extraordinary, but tastefully, and of course the delightfull many shades in colours in the choir, where the female dresses many times are followed up with the same shades in their gentlemens battle ribbons affixed.
The only catastrophe as costume was for Prince Orlovsky, the usually, elegant mezzosoprano Inesa Linaburgyté, who sings so well. In this, the costyme designer has shown bad taste. It didn´t help Prince Orlovsky to look real “royal” in the role, and was not giving the singer any help to look beautiful on stage.
The Scenography by Andu Dimitrescu, I didn´t understand. The living room was a mix of different periodes, without contact to the costumes. The three moving around towers, with no excuse for being there, the tvisting around of the stage.
It didn´t seem like there has been any coordinating between the good costumes and the misunderstod scenography.
As being placed a bit too far away we, and many other in the audience couldn´t catch the mimic, which is importent in most productions, and we were not being helped much by the lighting, – by Levas Kleinas.
In the programme is announced dancers and mimical artists. They were not on stage, but it could have been encouraging and uplifting at the party at Prince Orlovskys residence.
As it sometimes happens in Die Fledermaus productions every where in the world, in this production was also included some guesting artists on stage, in this case the well known Lithuanian classical pianist Petras Geniušas, who solo performed Gershwins Rhapsody in Blue.
Then Geniušas made the accompagnement for a song with a very good young male singer singing with microfone, unfortunately their names were not announced. And then followed up with accompagnement for Virgilijus Noreika, tenor, still wonderful singing in the age of 77.
These three numbers had absolutely no connection to the rest of the performance, and was a mistake. Even they were not dressed up as “stars” coming to the exclusive party of Orlovsky. But of course, it is allways a great pleasure to listen to Noreika.
The last act is usually a solo hit for Frosch the Jailer, performed by Irmantas Jankaitis, and for his boss the director of the prison well sung and played by Egidijus Dauskurdis. But it didn´t function. The small role as the lawyer Blind was performed by Rafailas Karpis.
Please enjoy our reviews from other Die Fledermaus productions: