The Met To Feature Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE As Part Of 2016 Holiday Presentation, Today
Continuing a tradition inaugurated in 2006, the Met offers a holiday presentation sung in English for families this December and January. This year's production, Mozart's The Magic Flute, opens December 20 and includes reduced ticket prices. The production stars Janai Brugger as Pamina, Jessica Pratt in her Met debut and Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night, Ben Bliss as the fairy-tale prince Tamino, Christopher Maltman as the bird-catcher Papageno, Shenyang as the Speaker, and Morris Robinson as Sarastro. AnTony Walkerconducts all performances of the opera, which runs through January 5.
On Thursday, December 29 and Friday, December 30, all ticket holders for the matinee performances are invited to a pre-performance open house event held on the Grand Tier level of the Met lobby beginning at 10 a.m. Met artists and craftspeople will lead a variety of hands-on activities and demonstrations designed for families with children, including a "dress-up" station featuring child-friendly costume pieces; an instrument show-and-tell with members of the orchestra; a live demonstration by the Met scenic artists, who create props and set elements for all of the company's productions; and a lighting display by the Met's electrics department.
Janai Brugger adds a new role to her Met repertory as Pamina, a role she has previously sung the role at the Los Angeles Opera and Royal Opera, Covent Garden. After winning the 2012 Operalia Competition and the Met Opera National Council Auditions, she made her company debut later that same year as Liù in Puccini's Turandot followed by starring as Helena in the Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island. Following performances as Pamina, she will sing Micaëla in Bizet's Carmen with the company. Earlier this season, she sang Jemmy in the Met's new production of Rossini'sGuillaume Tell.
Australian soprano Jessica Pratt makes her Met debut as the Queen of the Night after previously singing the role at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Notable roles with other opera companies include the title role of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at La Scala, Zurich Opera, Dutch National Opera, and Victorian Opera; Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni at La Fenice; Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare at the Teatro Regio di Torino; and Amina in Bellini's La Sonnambula at Ópera de Bilbao. She will sing Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto at the Ópera de Olviedo and Marie in Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment at Opera Las Palmas later this season.
Kathryn Lewek made her Met debut as the Queen of the Night during the holiday presentation of The Magic Flute in 2013 and reprised the role in the full-length German version in 2014 with the company. She has also sung the role with numerous other opera companies including Deutsche Oper Berlin, Washington National Opera, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, English National Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Vienna State Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Welsh National Opera, and Teatro Real in Madrid. Later this season, she will reprise the role of the Queen in the Night at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Ben Bliss makes his Met role debut as Tamino, a role he has sung at the Los Angeles Opera. As a graduate of the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Program, he made his company debut in 2014 as Vogelgesang in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, followed by performances as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Belmonte in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Later this season, he can be seen as Steuermann in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer with the company and as a soloist during the Met's 50th Anniversary at Lincoln Center Gala.
Christopher Maltman reprises the role of Papageno, a role he has sang at the Met in 2009. He made his company debut as the Harlekin in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos in 2005 and has subsequently sung Silvio in the double bill of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, Eisenstein in the new production of Strauss's Die Fledermaus, and Figaro in Rossini's IL Barbiere di Siviglia. Earlier this season, he sang Lescaut in Puccini's Manon Lescaut at the Met.
Shenyang previously sang the Speaker in the holiday presentation of The Magic Flute during the Met's 2013-14 season. As a graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, he made his company debut in 2009 as Masetto in Don Giovanni, followed by roles as Colline in Puccini's La Bohème and Garibaldo in Handel's Rodelinda. Recent credits with other opera companies include the title role of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro at the Seattle Opera and Alidoro in Rossini's La Cenerentola at the Zurich Opera and Washington National Opera.
Morris Robinson has sung Sarastro in 19 performances of The Magic Flute at the Met. In 2002, he made his Met debut as the 2nd Prisoner in Beethoven's Fidelio, followed by seven other roles, including Ferrando in Verdi's Il Trovatore, Mercury in Berlioz's Les Troyens, and the High Priest of Baal in Verdi's Nabucco. After singing Sarastro, he will reprise the role of the King in Verdi's Aida at the Met and Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serailat the Los Angeles Opera.
AnTony Walker made his Met debut conducting Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice in 2011, and since then, he has conducted performances of last year's holiday presentation of Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de Perles, and the National Council Finals at the Met. In addition to being the Music Director of the Pittsburgh Opera, he is the Artistic Director of the Washington Concert Opera and the Co-Artistic Director of Pinchgut Opera in Australia.
The Magic Flute performances on December 29 and 30 will include a free pre-show "open house" with activities for families on the Grand Tier, including an insider's look at the production's sets and props. Doors open at 10 am for a 12:00 pm curtain. Met artists and craftspeople will lead various hands-on activities and demonstrations designed for families with children. These stations will include a "dress-up" area featuring child-friendly costume pieces; an instrument show-and-tell with members of the orchestra; a live demonstration by the Met scenic artists, who create props and set elements for all of the company's productions; and a lighting display by the Met's electrics department.
The Magic Flute Fun Facts
Die Zauberflöte premiered at the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna in 1791. Mozart conducted a cast that featured his sister-in-law Josepha Hofer as the Queen of the Night, along with Benedikt Schack as Tamino, the leader of Mozart's theatrical troupe at the Theater auf der Wieden. Additionally, the librettist and director of Die Zauberflöte, Emanuel Schikaneder, who was a friend of Mozart's, sang the role of Papageno during the opening. Mozart died just three months after the premiere of the opera.
Die Zauberflöte premiered at the Met on March 30, 1900 led by Luigi Mancinelli and starring Emma Eames as Pamina, Marcella Sembrich as the Queen of the Night, Andreas Dippel as Tamino, and Giuseppe Campanari as Papageno.
Julie Taymor's production of Die Zauberflöte premiered in 2004, and in 2006, The Magic Flute became the Met's first holiday presentation, a tradition that has continued every year since.
The Magic Flute Radio Broadcasts
The December 20 and 26 performances of The Magic Flute will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 74. The performance on December 20 will also be streamed live on the Met's website, www.metopera.org.