Johann Strauss II wrote Die Fledermaus in the early 1870s for the musical theater, and when it was co-opted by the great opera houses of Europe 20 years later, he wasn't entirely pleased--he feared they'd spoil his lilting Viennese confection with a heavy hand. Adapted from a French comedy too risque at the time to play anyplace but Paris, the operetta's plot hangs on the confusion that ensues when a husband and wife just want to have a little fun--preferably not with each other--and on the revenge of one practical joker on another. Strauss needn't have worried: Fledermaus has waltzed through 100 years of grand opera treatment, but it'll be in good hands when Light Opera Works opens its production this weekend on the stage of Northwestern University's Cahn Auditorium. Directed by Lara Teeter and Michael Kotze and conducted by Peter Lipari, it features Christina Villaverde as Rosalinda, George Andrew Wolff as her husband, Eisenstein, and George Montalbano II as her boyfriend. Performances are at 8 December 27 and 31 and January 2 and 3, and at 2 December 28-30 and January 4. Cahn Auditorium is at 927 Noyes in Evanston; tickets range from $26 to $56 (half price for those 21 and under). New Year's Eve tickets go for $43 to $58 (no discounts). They're available online at www.light-opera-works.org or by calling 847-869-6300.