REVENGE, as they say, can be oh, so sweet. But in Co-opera’s production of “The Revenge of the Bat”, aka “Die Fledermaus” by the waltz king, Johann Strauss II, it was light and fluffy, funny and outrageous, and thoroughly entertaining.
On entering Albert Hall, the disappointingly small audience was greeted with illusion. The small, high stage seemed cleverly transformed into one of better proportions, simply by adding a free-standing lighting gantry in front of the proscenium.
Even so, the small space meant big staging and choreography challenges. Both were handled brilliantly.
The small orchestral ensemble could have risked sounding like a palm court orchestra. But bassoonist Matthew Holzinger’s arrangement of the music was highly successful in creating a good orchestral sound with exactly the right balance for the instruments and support for the singers.
The cast imbued abundant energy, with great voice projection and clear diction.
Set in Australia in the 1920’s (perfect for the Albert Hall, of course) the singers put on everything from bogan Aussie to posh mother country accents, morphing into fake French ones as the illusion of the revenge party, with disguises and assumed identities, got into full swing. The champagne flowed freely until six in the morning, with the resultant dazed states and sore heads.
It all ends well, though, with renewed love, a dream job won, forgiveness all round and a final toast to that most wonderful of drinks: Champagne.