OPERA / Die Fledermaus - Clonter Opera Farm

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The Independent Culture
To dub Die Fledermaus failure-proof is easy enough with hindsight. But to mount it in 24 weeks with a cast of limited experience remains a considerable act of faith. Fortunately Clonter Opera Farm have got the chemistry right. Christopher Woods's designs and Stuart Hopps's direction make imaginative but unfussy use of the arena, Wyn Davies sets an effective musical context with his piano accompaniments, and the casting is virtually without weakness.

Each of the star turns in Act 2 makes its mark - Anita Morrison has all the stamina and most of the nuances for Rosalind, Mary Plazas seems born to play Adele, and Caroline Zygadlo as Orlofsky him/herself displays a distinctive voice with one or two creases still to be ironed out. Benon Maliszewski sounds rather ill at ease as Falke but looks every inch the part; Richard Coxon over-acts Alfred's intoxication but has the right stentorian ring plus infectious stage-presence; and Peter Bording's Eisenstein is thoroughly likeable and well sung. Their interaction is a joy, and the whole thing has a feeling of freshness and discovery - a vindication of everything this mini-Glyndebourne in the Cheshire countryside sets out to do.

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