Tomell: Talk about "Die Fledermaus," which is set at New Year's Eve.
Muspratt: It's the Viennese super hit. It's performed every New Year at the opera house in Vienna. It's the greatest, in my opinion, [work] that Johann Strauss ever wrote. Every solo, every duet, all the characters, [including] a Russian Prince Orlofsky, who's really a mezzo soprano.
Tomell: What's the story about?
Muspratt: It's a comedy. The book is just hilarious. Boil it down to women are a lot smarter than men. [Basically, the root of all] sitcom premises on TV. The men are a little bit dumb and a little bit vulnerable to good looks, alcohol, pretty girls. It's a comedy of men and women without it being too serious. There's definitely flirtation. [Eisenstein goes] to a costume ball, and [his wife] dresses up and goes [masked]. And he [doesn't recognize her as he flirts with her]. We have to suspend a lot of disbelief.
Tomell: And the score?
Muspratt: The music is very beautiful, very romantic. It's charming. It's certainly a period piece – [imbued with] all the style of Johann Strauss polkas and waltzes.
Tomell: What do you want to see in terms of audience response to your programs?
Muspratt: I do want people to cry. I want people to laugh. I want them to feel like they can never miss this concert. They must come back.
If you go
WHAT: New Philharmonic's New Year's Eve concert
WHEN: 2, 5:30 and 9 p.m. Dec. 31
WHERE: McAninch Arts Center on the College of DuPage campus, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn
COST AND INFO: $67; www.atthemac.org, 630-942-4000
NEXT: "Die Fledermaus" operetta at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 and 3 p.m. Jan. 27