‘Magic Flute’ at Mercer University perfect to introduce new audiences to opera

Telegraph correspondentJanuary 10, 2014 

If you’ve never given opera try, this may just be the time to do it. Audiences -- of all ages -- are invited to come enjoy Mozart’s last opera, “The Magic Flute,” with performances for kids and adults by Mercer University Opera.

Mercer’s opera director Martha Malone believes audiences will love this opera.

“ ‘The Magic Flute’ is a fairytale. The action starts when a prince wandering in a strange country is pursued by a monster, and is rescued by three mysterious ladies. However, this opera is much more than a children’s story -- it is Mozart’s final work for the stage, and with his mastery of the genre he fills the characters and crazy plot with color, comedy, nobility and, above all, insightful musical expression of our human nature, of the universal search for love and for a meaningful life.”

Malone said it’s a beloved work, and not one to be missed.

“I particularly hope that a lot of folks in Middle Georgia who have not seen this opera before will join us for the fun,” Malone said. “You will see why this is one of the most beloved pieces of music theater in the history of Western civilization. After 200 years, it is still produced thousands of times annually. You will laugh; you will cry.”

Cindy Hill, arts marketing coordinator for Mercer University, also thinks that this is a good show for opera beginners.

“This is a really fun show. It’s very accessible for old and young alike. It’s one of the quintessential operas of all time. If you’ve never seen an opera, this is the perfect one to try,” Hill said. “The coolest thing is that Martha Malone, the director of this production, and Richard Kosowski, music director, are doing a special one-hour version of this show for children. It’s not the whole version, but it’s a good show for people with a shorter attention span. ... It’s a little magical and it’s a lot of fun for all audiences.”

Malone said the one-hour version of “The Magic Flute, Jr.!” for young audiences is geared to get people in and out after work and before dinner, and it’s free.

“This shortened version will include fully staged and costumed scenes from the full show and a chance to ask the cast questions afterward,” Malone said. “Bring the children, your neighbors’ kids, your grandchildren, and get them all hooked on great music and theater. It’s a unique opportunity for them, and I guarantee the whole family will have a great time.”

The set and costumes by Zach Broome and Shelley Kuhen will transport the audience to a “gorgeous, exotic and colorful world,” Malone said. “We have a powerhouse cast of terrific singer-actors in this show. In the intimate, acoustically exquisite space of Fickling Recital Hall, the audience can hear every nuance of vocal and orchestral music and can see the most subtle facial expressions. ... This easy accessibility makes our production a perfect introduction to opera, especially for young people.”

“The Magic Flute, Jr.!”

When: 5:30 p.m. Jan. 13-14

Where: Fickling Hall, Mercer University

Cost: Free

Inforamtion: 478-301-5751; www.music.mercer.edu

“The Magic Flute”

When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16-18 and 2:30 p.m. Jan. 19

Where: Fickling Hall, Mercer University

Cost: $10 at the door; free for any student or with a Mercer ID

Inforamtion: 478-301-5751; www.music.mercer.edu

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