Abendpost -- November 05, 1934"Die Fledermaus" (The Bat) Civic Opera House
The production of Strauss' popular operetta, "Die Fledermaus" which was given last night in the Civic Opera House under the auspices of the German Wireless (Germania Broadcast) for the benefit of the German Society of Chicago, proved itself in every way a success.
Good singing and smooth playing prevailed throughout. With special satisfaction, the sponsors must have come to the realization that their efforts once more to produce an operetta for the Chicago Germans worthy of their support were crowned with success such as only optimists of the purest water could have anticipated. The visitors filled the main floor of the opera house, to the last seat, and even the other places reserved for the audience were well occupied. Consequently the management of the production was able 2to announce, during one of the intermissions, that in spite of the great cost of such an undertaking the aim of the German Society to show a net gain had been attained, although the exact figures could not be made known until the final accounting had been made.
The main roles were all in reliable hands. As guests, praiseworthy mention must be made of the performances of Georges Trabert of New York, playing Gabriel of Eisenstein, and Ilse Marvenga, likewise of New York, playing the lady's maid in the Eisenstein house. They both gave splendid proof of their artistry, both in singing and in acting. No wonder, therefore, that soon after their first appearance they became the acknowledged favorites of the audience.
The Russian Duke Orlofsky was played by Miga March-Fiechtl, an artist recently arrived from Germany, in a manner that secured her the admiration of everyone who witnessed her acting and her singing.3
One of the most difficult and fatiguing parts of the operetta, namely that of Rosalinde, Eisenstein's wife, could undoubtedly not have been given to anyone better than to the popular Chicago artist, Lucie Westen. On this occasion, her long-established reputation was enriched by a new triumph that procured for her veritable storms of applause.
Curt Bemisch, who took over the stage management and who took care of a splendid stage setting and direction, presented a perfect Dr. Blind, whereas Frederick Bittke filled his role as Dr. Falke in a very skillful manner. The same may be said of Mark Oster as the jail warden Franke and of Frederick R. Mueller as Alfred. The latter's performance must be the more recognized because he had to jump in at the last moment to replace Edwin Kemp, who was taken ill.
Hilde Utecht, Kurt Kupfer, and Mario Herman completed the cast and contributed their honest best to the enjoyable performance.4
The second act found a welcome enrichment through the "Danube Valse". It was danced by a ballet, composed of students of Madame Antoinette Ludwig, in a very graceful manner. On this occasion, Erika Thimey and Zizian Watkins gained particular distinction as solo dancers.
The chief credit for the artistic success of the production was unquestionably due to conductor Otto Vandsburger from Breslaw. He personally practiced and rehearsed the chorus, giving Strauss' composition a rendering which will remain a pleasant remembrance to all who heard the operetta.
II B 1 c 3, II D 10
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