Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music/Opera Theatre will present Johann Strauss II’s comedic opera Die Fledermaus, or “The Revenge of the Bat,” on Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. as well as a matinee performance on Nov. 3 at 2:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at www.obu.edu/boxoffice. Students with a current OBU ID may receive one free ticket.
“Our cast is one of the best we have ever assembled for an operatic production at OBU,” said Dr. Jon Secrest, music director and conductor of the opera and coordinator of Ouachita’s vocal studies program. Secrest added that the opera contains “beautiful soaring melodies” and that the audience should recognize many of the tunes.
Set in Vienna during the Victorian Era, Die Fledermaus is a three-act opera centered on retribution and mistaken identities of prisoners, wives, old flames and old friends at Prince Orlofsky’s ball. As a comedy, audience members should “be ready for an evening of fun and laughter,” said Dr. Glenda Secrest, stage director of the opera and professor of music at Ouachita.
According to Jon Secrest, the audience will also enjoy “the visual spectacle of the grand Viennese style.” Costumes for the performance will be rented from a professional company in New York, and “are going to be incredible,” said Kaylee Nebe, a junior musical theatre major from Mesquite, Texas, who heads the costume crew.
Also involved in the production are David Stanley, instructor of music, who serves as chorus master for the show; Joey Licklider, JPAC manager, who serves as technical director; and Dallas Sleeman, a sophomore theatre arts major from Kentwood, Mich., who serves as stage manager.
Those interested in the story but unfamiliar with the operatic genre should not be intimidated, Jon Secrest said. “Our audience members are surprised at how entertaining the OBU Opera Theatre productions are,” he noted. Nebe added that it should “be really easy for the audience to follow along and invest in the story.”
Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at the Jones Performing Arts Center Box Office weekdays from 1-5 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.obu.edu/boxoffice. Students with a valid OBU ID may receive one free ticket. For more information, call the box office at (870) 245-5555 during business hours.
Cast members for the production will include: Chad Burris, a junior musical theatre major from Van Buren, Ark., as Alfredo; Tara Clem, a sophomore musical theatre major from Texarkana, Texas, as Ida; Todd McNeel, a junior mass communications and speech communication major from Grand Prairie, Texas, as Frogg; Victoria Mantooth, a senior vocal performance major from Sherwood, Ark., as Orlofsky (this role also is covered by Sarah Talley, a junior vocal performance major from Bella Vista, Ark.); Joel Rogier, a senior vocal performance major from Glen Carbon, Ill., as Eisenstein; Seth Russell, a sophomore vocal performance major from Crossett, Ark., as Dr. Falke; Caitlin Secrest, a senior vocal performance major from Arkadelphia, Ark., as Rosalinda; Jillian Turner, a junior vocal performance and music major from Fort Worth, Texas, as Adele; Josh Wayne, a junior choral music education major from Ozark, Mo., as Frank; and Jalin Wesley, a sophomore musical theatre major from Little Rock, Ark., as Dr. Blind.
Members of the women’s chorus will include: Ashley Bundy, a senior vocal performance major from Justin, Texas; Tori Clark, a sophomore choral music education major from Bonnerdale, Ark.; Beth Crisler, a freshman musical theatre major from Bella Vista, Ark.; Kayla Kreger, a sophomore choral music education major from Rowlett, Texas; Lindsey Lederer, a senior musical theatre major from Lewisville, Texas; Katelyn Mason, a freshman vocal performance major from Frisco, Texas; Taylor McKinney, a sophomore choral music education major from Little Rock, Ark.; Lizzie Shelby, a freshman vocal performance major from McKinney, Texas; Sarah Talley, a junior voice performance major from Bella Vista, Ark.; and Esther Weicht, a sophomore vocal performance major from Branson, Mo.
Members of the male chorus will include: Mark Burbank, a freshman musical theatre major from Benton, Ark.; John Doss, a junior music theory and composition major from Rogers, Ark.; Cory Feuerbacher, a junior music major from Wylie, Texas; Lindahl Freeze, a freshman business administration and finance major from Little Rock, Ark.; Carl Olloway, a freshman vocal performance major from Lexa, Ark.; Kyle Osmon, a sophomore musical theatre major from Rogers, Ark.; Garrett Sayers, a sophomore musical theatre major from Greenwood, Ark.; Ben Stidham, a junior musical theatre major; and John David Whitmore, a senior music major from Rogers, Ark.
The cast and chorus members serve on the crew, as well. Along with Kaylee Nebe, other members of the costume crew include Mark Burbank, Kayla Kreger, Seth Russell, Garrett Sayers and Esther Weicht. Ashley Bundy will head the makeup crew with crew members Beth Criser, Taylor McKinney, Lizzie Shelby, Ben Stidham and Sarah Talley. Joel Rogier will serve as head of the properties crew with crew members Lindahl Freeze, Kyle Osmun, Jillian Turner, Josh Wayne and John David Whitmore. Caitlin Secrest will head the publicity crew with other crew members John Doss, Lindsey Lederer, Victoria Mantooth, Todd McNeel and Jalin Wesley. Joey Licklider will head the tech/building crew with crew members Chad Burris, Tori Clark, Tara Clem, Katelyn Mason and Carl Olloway.
Orchestra personnel will include: Elizabeth Baker, a senior performance major from Grapevine, Texas, first flute; Kathryn Lee, a senior music major from Azle, Texas, second flute; Tori Clifton, a freshman instrumental music education major from Henderson, Texas, first oboe; William Lawson, a junior Biblical languages and Spanish major from Bryant, Ark., second oboe; Megan Massey, a senior instrumental music education major from Weatherford, Texas, first bassoon; Wes Savage, a freshman musical theatre major from Rudy, Ark., second bassoon; Crista Riggs, a senior chemistry and biology major from Edmond, Okla., first clarinet; Hannah Bowen, a junior choral music education major from Lewisville, Texas, second clarinet; Anna English, a senior English major from Coppell, Texas, first horn; Megan Graves, a senior music and communication science and disorders major from Hot Springs, Ark., second horn; Grace Hevron, a junior history and secondary education major from Duncanville, Texas, third horn; Elizabeth Lawson, a junior instrumental music education major from Texarkana, Texas, fourth horn; Lindsey Palmer, sophomore instrumental music education major from Idabel, Okla., first trumpet; Alexandra Lawson, a freshman accounting major from Texarkana, Texas, second trumpet; Bret Steed, a senior performance major from Idabel, Okla., first trombone; Jason Potts, a freshman instrumental music education major from Springdale, Ark., second trombone; Kaden Sosebee, a sophomore Christian studies/Christian theology and Biblical studies major from Fort Smith, Ark., third trombone; Drew Ervin, a senior music and computer science major from Springdale, Ark., percussion; Gabriel Ess, a freshman music major from Sachse, Texas, timpani; and Justin Massey, a sophomore instrumental music education major from Weatherford, Texas, double bass.
The orchestra personnel will also include OBU staff accompanists John Briggs and Susan Monroe, with Briggs on the keyboard, harp and chimes and Monroe on the keyboard and strings.
By Taylor Tomlinson