Die Fledermaus

May 2013

Once again the STARS-promoted Co-opera event at the McLaren Flat Bocce Club was a big hit. A happy audience of some 140 folk gathered for the 5pm performance of the Johann Strauss opera, 'Die Fledermaus'.

It was funny when it premiered in Vienna in 1874 and it was extremely funny in 2013, having been updated to 1920's Australia by director and translator Frank Ford.

The singing was beautiful and I have never seen opera singers performing comedy so well.

The story, being an opera, is silly of course, something in the Gilbert and Sullivan style, but as Brian Chatterton the musical director and driving force of Co-opera explained to me, it has a certain added Viennese veneer of sophistication. It is subtitled 'The Revenge of the Bat'.

The company of eleven performers and about four technicians brought with them a large and elaborate set, necessitating their beginning the rig at the Bocce Club at 9.30 in the morning. Having worked all day until 4pm on that, they then gave their excellent performance, followed by pulling the set down and packing it away in the pantechnicon. Then at last they were free to sit with the STARS stalwarts and have a few bevvies. That's the life of the travelling performer and they are to be heartily congratulated.

The government withdrew Co-opera's funding last year, but has seen fit to reinstate it this year, for which we are all grateful.

STARS conducted a fundraising raffle in the intervals and some $600 was raised for the coffers.

- Wayne Anthoney.


Audience before the start

Carolyn in period costume

Nancy in period costume, flanked by admirers

Wayne and Meredith

Happy audience