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Classical 05/11/2013

Eastern Opera Ushers In The Holiday Season With Johann Strauss' Most Celebrated Operetta, Die Flederma

Eastern Opera Ushers In The Holiday Season With Johann Strauss' Most Celebrated Operetta, Die Flederma

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Bound Brook, NJ (Top40 Charts/ Eastern Opera) Eastern Opera ushers in the holiday season with Johann Strauss' most celebrated operetta, Die Fledermaus. The lively chamber orchestra for this rousing evening of mistaken identities, flirtations, and light-hearted deceit will be conducted by Artistic Director, Dr. Robert Butts. Eastern Opera's General Director, Karole Lewis, is the stage director. Die Fledermaus will be sung in English with a new spirited and uproarious translation written by Karole Lewis. Four performances are scheduled for November 16, 17, 23, 24 at the historic Brook Theater, 12 Hamilton St., Bound Brook NJ. Tickets are on sale at the Box Office, by phone at (908) 566-5708 or online at .

Strauss' Die Fledermaus ("The Bat") will be performed for the first time on the Brook Theater stage. Based on a German comedy and French vaudeville play, with a libretto by Carl Haffner and Richard Gene, Die Fledermaus offers up a tale of class and morals as the tantalizing indiscretions of the elite are exposed through one man's elaborate plan to avenge a practical joke gone wrong. Set in 19th-century Vienna, this delightful farce is the perfect combination of broad humor, effervescent melodies, lilting waltzes, and charming sentiment. From the sparkling overture to a rollicking tribute to champagne finale, the Waltz King's madcap masterpiece is the jewel of the golden age of operetta.

Director Karole Lewis captures the essence of the Operetta with both her translation and stage direction. No stranger to opera, Ms. Lewis has directed over 20 musicals and operas in California, New York and most recently New Jersey. Ms. Lewis keeps the audience captivated by directing the performers in the art of comedy and farce.

Dr. Robert Butts, Eastern Opera's founding artistic director and principal conductor, is New Jersey's most wide-ranging conductor, exploring the operatic as well as the orchestral worlds, the earliest major works of the Baroque period through compositions of the twenty-first century. He is the only conductor to have conducted three Wagner Ring Operas (Die Walküre, Das Rheingold, Siegfried) in New Jersey. He is the only conductor to have led three Handel operas (Acis and Galatea, Semele, Giulio Cesare) in New Jersey.

Dr. Butts has conducted premieres of over a dozen works for large and small ensemble. With The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, he has edited and led modern day first performances of works by composers such as Franz Krommer and Ditters von Dittersdorf. In 2008, Dr. Butts edited Alessandro Scarlatti's 1693 oratorio La Giuditta, from a manuscript discovered in the archives of the National Park Service, Morristown, New Jersey.

Heading the cast as Eisenstein is Peter S. Lewis of Warren, NJ. Lewis recently sang the title role in Otello and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Eastern Opera. Lewis studied voice with the late Frederick Jagel and coached with the late conductor, Jan Popper. After appearing as an Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera, Peter performed numerous roles in CA with West Bay Opera, Monterey Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, Pocket Opera of San Francisco, and Santa Cruz Bay City Opera. He has sung leading roles in La Boheme, Madama Butterfly (with Eastern Opera), Tosca, Pagliacci, Don Giovanni, Carmen, and L'Elisir d'Amore among others. Peter has also performed the works of Sigmund Romberg and Rudolf Friml in concerts at the Smithsonian Institution in D.C.

Rosalinda will be played by Tonia Manteneri of Somerset, NJ. Ms. Manteneri is a native Californian and a graduate of UCLA. She has won the Frank Sinatra Award, the Atwater Kent Competition and the Zachary Opera Award. On the West Coast, Ms. Manteneri participated in the San Diego Opera Center's Young Artists Program. She has appeared in many operatic productions that have shown her vocal and dramatic diversity: both comic roles, such as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and dramatic roles such as the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor and Madama Butterfly. Recently she performed Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and First Lady in Die Zauberflote with the Baroque Orchestra of NJ.

Making her Eastern Opera debut as Adele is Laura Zupa D'Avella of Essex Fells. Ms. Zupa D'Avella is a native of New Jersey and has delighted audiences in numerous concerts and operas throughout the Metropolitan area with her warm and sweet lyric soprano. Her most recent engagements include performances with the New Jersey State Opera, Stony Hill Players, Ridge Light Opera, Pacific Opera, Empire Opera, and Opera New Jersey in such roles as Susanna, Despina, Papagena, Gilda, Micäela, Frasquita, Mabel, and Josephine. Laura made her professional debut in 2005 as Inez in Verdi's Il Trovatore with New Jersey State Opera under the baton of her mentor, the late Maestro Alfredo Silipigni. Laura received her Master's Degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College, where she was featured in Westminster Opera Theater productions. Laura holds a BA in music from Barnard College of Columbia University. She is a NATS certified teacher and currently maintains a private voice studio in Essex Fells.

Falke or "the bat" will be played by Jason Adamo who also took part in the inaugural production of Madame Butterfly. He has previously sung the role of Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute and appeared in the Magic Flute with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey under the baton of Maestro Robert Butts. Jason has also sung various roles with the New York Opera Forum and has performed in several musicals and operettas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Dante Fiore makes his Eastern Opera debut as Alfredo. Fiore is a native of Queens, New York and made his professional operatic debut in 1997 as the messenger in Aida with Maestro Anton Coppola conducting. He has since built an extensive repertoire of over 30 leading roles, including a World Premiere and a U.S. Premiere. Recent performances include: Pollione in Norma, the title roles in Andrea Chenier, and Don Carlo all in NYC. Upcoming performances include: Samson in Samson et Dalila, Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca, Radames in Aida, and the title role in Werther.

About Eastern Opera of New Jersey:
Eastern Opera Corp. is a nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes. Specifically, Eastern Opera has been formed to encourage and instruct individuals for the purpose of improving and developing their capabilities, to educate the public on subjects useful to the individual and beneficial to the community, and to promote the arts and culture to the local communities. The first opera performance, Puccini's Madama Butterfly (May, 2013) was met with standing ovations. For more information contact Lou Kersey at loukersey(at)easternopera(dot)org or visit

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