“Die Fledermaus” flies to Belleayre

Highmount – One of the greatest comic operettas of all time, “Die Fledermaus,” will be brought to life at the Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount on Saturday, July 25 at 8 p.m.
Donald Westwood, director of the Belleayre Festival Opera, puts his unique stamp on “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat). The performance will be sung in English with music composed by Johann Strauss II and a libretto by Carl Haffner and Richard Genée performed by a small chamber orchestra. The cast of 25 includes singers from the New York City Opera as well as other major international companies will be joined by the 60-member Community Chorale of the Catskills to provide a fully realized production. “A innovative set, designed and built especially for this production will surprise opera buffs,” said Mel Litoff, the Festival Artistic Director.
“Die Fledermaus” tells the story of Gabriel von Eisenstein, a wealthy man of independent means, with his attractive wife Rosalinda, and their maid, Adele. The light-hearted story of “Die Fledermaus” depicts the revenge taken by a certain Dr. Falke on Gabriel von Eisenstein for playing a practical joke on him.
This piece is often used by many opera companies, including the Met, to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
The themed weekend concludes on Sunday, July 26 at 1 p.m. with a free children’s opera version of “Humpty Dumpty.” This performance will delight all ages.
The Belleayre Music Festival has been offering a children’s opera for many years as a means of introducing the world of opera to a young audience. The children’s opera is always well attended so come early for good seats.
Producer/Stage Director Donald Westwood is the recently appointed Executive Vice President and Creative Director of American International Music Management. 
Mr. Westwood is Artistic Director of the Jacksonville Lyric Opera, where he will produce and direct “Die Fledermaus”and Rossini’s “Cinderella” for the 2009/10 season. This is his 11th season with the company.
Chorus Director Richard Tucker founded the Community Chorale of the Catskills in 1975.  

Upcoming events
Saturday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. Paul Simon’s Graceland backing band, Ladysmith Black Mambazo; Friday, Aug. 7 at 8 p.m., Pablo Ziegler – Trio for Nuevo Tango; Saturday, Aug. 8 at 8 p.m., jazz chanteuse Leny Andrade; Friday, Aug. 14 at 8 p.m., Kevin Mahogany; Saturday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m., Jay Leno’s band leader Kevin Eubanks; Saturday, Aug. 22 – 8 p.m., Bob Marley’s band The Original Wailers; Sunday, Aug. 23 at 1 p.m., KIDSTOCK featuring Uncle Rock and the Playthings with special guests Paul Green’s School of Rock (free admission); Saturday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m., Mary Wilson of the Supremes; Saturday, Sept. 5 at 8 p.m.
ABBA— The Tour.
For additional info, please call 800 942-6904, ext. 1344 or visit: www.belleayremusic.org. The festival’s e-mail address is: festival@catskill.net.