Intoxicating melodies by “the King of the Waltz” will have audiences whirling with delight in their seats, when Duchy Opera opens its summer season of Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus (otherwise known as the Flying Fox) at Falmouth’s Princess Pavilion – and you can be there thanks to our exclusive competition.

Strauss’s hypnotic waltz music is famous throughout the world, but this production will be a wholly Cornish triumph, showcasing the county’s top musical talent, from directors to translator and soloists.

Award-winning music director Patrick Bailey is a veteran of London and Europe’s top opera venues. He picked up the prestigious Evening Standard award for Best Musical for his conducting of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, while as music director for The Opera Group he has conducted numerous productions and tours, appearing at the Royal Opera House and the Bregenz Festival in Austria.

To celebrate, the Packet is giving one lucky reader the chance to win two tickets, worth a combined £46, to see the performance, by taking part in our exclusive quiz – entry details are only in this week's Packet print editions (Falmouth-Penryn, Helston and The Packet).

The June production of Die Fledermaus in Falmouth, which includes popular numbers such as “The Champagne Chorus”, “Oh What a Night” and “Adele’s Laughing Song”, will be sung in English. A comedy of errors, peopled by larger-than-life characters, it follows their hilarious mishaps, deceits, infidelities, disguises, and mistaken identities.

Stage director, Gillian Geer, a doyenne of musical theatre in Helston, said: “The story is hilarious – what we used to call a Brian Rix farce. No one is who they seem. And the entire plot is an act of revenge – a ridiculous practical joke.”

But for Patrick, the glorious Viennese melodies are what draws him to the production. “It’s a wonderful piece. I’m a huge fan of Strauss’s music. He has such a great gift for melody. His music is beautifully-crafted, both elegant and witty.”

Falmouth Packet: A scene from Trial by Jury, one of Duchy Opera's productions last summerA scene from Trial by Jury, one of Duchy Opera's productions last summer (Image: Linda Petzing)

In addition to his demanding conducting programme, Patrick, who lives in Truro with wife Helen, is a busy arranger and is making a new version of Strauss’s orchestral score for a team of Cornish musicians who will debut at Falmouth. He has previously arranged for the Royal Opera and is currently working on a new orchestration of The Snow Maiden for English Touring Opera.

Duchy Opera will sing a modern translation by Bill Bankes-Jones, founder of Tete a Tete Opera company based in Cornwall. It was originally commissioned for English Touring Opera.

Gillian said: “It will be a sparkling production. We are using traditional costumes, brightly-coloured satins and silks. There will be a masked ball - glamorous and stunningly beautiful.”

Strauss, also known as the King of the Waltz, is considered the father of modern musicals, forging the way for Gilbert and Sullivan, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

He developed his new style of popular operetta for a wealthy, late 19th century Vienna, the dazzling capital of Europe’s proudest empire at the time. It was a glamorous age of money and opportunity, but one partying under a cloud. Revolution and war threatened.

People wanted an escape, which Strauss provided with his enduring waltzes, the most famous of which is the Blue Danube.

Gillian said: “The music is glorious and very popular. Everyone knows its captivating melodies. We may not know where they come from, but we can all hum along with them.”

Falmouth Packet: The fight scene from Cavalleria Rusticana, performed by Duchy Opera last yearThe fight scene from Cavalleria Rusticana, performed by Duchy Opera last year (Image: Linda Petzing)

Elinor Chapman, who plays Rosalinda, performs regularly with Intimate Opera, and, as a soloist, has twice toured China and New Zealand. She has a diploma in Vocal and Performance studies.

Cornish born, Lydia Manuell, debuts with Duchy Opera, as Rosalinda’s maid, Adele. Lydia is a music graduate of Manchester University, where she studied voice under Sandra Dugdale, of the Royal Northern College of Music.

The champagne ball takes place in the home of Prince Orlofsky, played by Roman Zosan, who studied singing at the Vilnius Conservatoire, Lithuania. A laureate of the Moniuszko international competition in Poland and also Zenono Paulausko’s singing competition in Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, he moved to Cornwall 14 years ago, where he has continued to delight audiences.

Other soloists, who all live in Cornwall, and are popular throughout the West Country, include Ben Hoadley, playing Gabriel von Eisenstein, and Bruce Cross as Alfred, Rosalinda’s ex-lover.

Duchy Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus opens on Thursday, June 6 and Friday, June 7 at the Princess Pavilion, Falmouth. Tickets are now on sale from the Minack Box Office. Standard tickets cost £23, students £10 and under 16s free.

It follows Duchy Opera's popular double bill last year, Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury.