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Traveling Strauss

Let's put a little holiday spirit into our February! Johann Strauss' elegant, dance-filled "Die Fledermaus," traditionally performed as part of Vienna's New Year's Eve festivities, will be staged next Friday in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts.

Performing the opera will be the Helikon-Opera, a troupe based in Russia and boasting a repertoire of more than 50 productions. The singers travel with chorus and 45-piece orchestra. Members of this tour staged "Die Fledermaus" at France's Evian Music Festival and also performed a gala concert with the celebrated tenor Roberto Alagna.

Traveling opera companies can be unpredictable, but the Helikon seems to have garnered praise while traveling the world's highways and byways. "We need companies like Helikon Opera of Moscow," opined the London Financial Times. "The Helikon singers gave performances of extraordinary concentration, with a flair rarely seen on the opera stage."

Judge for yourself when the Helikon Opera brings "Die Fledermaus" to UB's Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. next Friday. The opera will be performed in German with English surtitles. Admission is $29, $39 and $49. For information, call 645-ARTS.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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