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Video Exclusive: An American Prince Charming

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Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus LIVE, Tuesday at 7:15 PM

The grandeur of Lyric Opera’s production of Johann Strauss Jr.’s Die Fledermaus conjures a fairy tale atmosphere in which adult naughtiness ensues. Set in the perfumed world of Imperial Vienna, it bubbles with champagne, whirling gowns, sequined masks, and sparkling chandeliers; the maestro in the middle completes this fairy tale; it’s the dashing, young American, Ward Stare.

At the age of eighteen, Mr. Stare left the Juilliard School to play principal trombone of the Lyric Opera Orchestra. In his skyrocket to international man of musicality, he didn’t linger; he played in Lyric’s orchestra pit for six seasons, an experience he said was invaluable to understanding the complexities of opera. Today he’s back for his second turn on the Opera House podium, conducting the new-to-Chicago production of Die Fledermaus.

In rehearsal, Mr. Stare fields volleys from director, singers, musicians, and technical crew. The managed chaos of an opera rehearsal is almost video game-like, and no less sporting to the 31-year-old maestro; although he did hit the pause button long enough to speak to WFMT:

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