Julie Taymor's Production Of Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE Returns
A prince's quest to prove his worth and rescue his beloved leads to a fantastic adventure filled with danger and mysticism in the Metropolitan Opera's holiday presentation of Mozart's The Magic Flute, with performances December 19, 2018 to January 5, 2019. This English-language adaptation of the classic fairy tale, performed in a 100-minute version of the Met's popular production by visionary theater artist Julie Taymor, is the perfect introduction to opera for the whole family, as well as a holiday treat for those who are already admirers of Mozart. The performances are led by acclaimed Mozart conductor Harry Bicket.
Taymor, who won a Tony Award for Broadway's The Lion King, fills the Met stage with dancing bears and twirling birds while expressing the deep themes of divine enlightenment in Mozart's final opera. The cast includes Erin Morley as the princess Pamina, Ben Bliss as the valiant prince Tamino, Kathryn Lewek as the malevolent Queen of the Night, Nathan Gunn as the comic birdcatcher Papageno, Morris Robinson as the mysterious Sarastro, Alfred Walker as the stentorian Speaker, and Brenton Ryan as the evil Monostatos.
For the January 3 performance, Sydney Mancasola sings Pamina, So Young Park makes her Met debut as the Queen of the Night, Duncan Rock is Papageno, Peixin Chen makes his Met debut as Sarastro, and Mark Schowalter is Monostatos, a role he also sings on January 5.
On Saturday, December 29, all ticket holders for the 1:00 p.m. matinee of The Magic Flute are invited to a free pre-performance open house held on the Grand Tier level of the Met lobby beginning at 11:00 a.m. Met artists and craftspeople will lead a variety of hands-on activities and demonstrations for the whole family, including a "dress-up" station featuring child-friendly costume pieces; an instrument show-and-tell with members of the orchestra; live demonstrations by Met scenic artists, who create props and scenic elements for the company's productions; and lighting displays by members of the Met's electrics department.
The December 19 and December 29 performances of The Magic Flute will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 75. The December 29 performance will be broadcast over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network, and the December 19 performance will also be streamed live on the Met's web site, metopera.org.
American soprano Erin Morley makes her role debut as Pamina. As a graduate of the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she has sung 11 roles at the Met, including Sophie in a new production of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, Constance in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, Woglinde and the Forest Bird in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, Podtochina's daughter in the Met premiere of Shostakovich's The Nose, Echo in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, the Dew Fairy in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, and Olympia in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann. Other recent credits include Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at the Vienna State Opera, Cunegonde in Bernstein's Candide at LA Opera, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at the Glyndebourne Festival, and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Santa Fe Opera. Later this season at the Met, she will sing the Woodbird in Wagner's Siegfried and Constance in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites.
American soprano Kathryn Lewek has sung the Queen of the Night in the Met's English-language holiday presentations of the opera, as well as the full-length German version. She has also sung the role with Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Bregenz Festival, Washington National Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Opera Leipzig, Opera de Toulon, English National Opera, Nashville Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Royal Danish Opera, Vienna State Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Welsh National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Teatro Real in Madrid. Later this season, she will sing Ginevra in Handel's Ariodante at Opéra de Monte-Carlo and Poppea in Handel's Agrippina at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
American tenor Ben Bliss, a graduate of the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Program, made his company debut in 2014 as Vogelgesang in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, followed by performances as Arturo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Belmonte in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Tamino in Mozart's The Magic Flute, the Steersman in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer, and most recently as Ferrando in a new production of Mozart's Così fan tutte, which was seen around the world as a part of The Met: Live in HD series.
American baritone Nathan Gunn has sung more than 30 performances as Papageno in both the Met's holiday presentation and its full-length German version. A 1994 winner of the Met's National Council Auditions, he made his Met debut in 1995 in John Corigliano's The Ghost of Versailles. To date, he has sung more than 148 performances at the Met, most recently as Count Danilo in Lehár's The Merry Widow, the title role of Britten's Billy Budd, and Raimbaud in Rossini's Le Comte Ory. Later this season he will be seen as Count Danilo at English National Opera.
American baritone Alfred Walker sang the Speaker last season at the Met. A graduate of the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Program, he made his Met debut in 1998 as Grégorio in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette. His other roles at the Met include Titurel in Wagner's Parsifal, Parsi Rustomji in Philip Glass's Satyagraha, and the Commissioner in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Other recent performances include Porgy in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and Amonasro in Verdi's Aida at Seattle Opera, Orest in Strauss's Elektra at San Francisco Opera, and the Dutchman in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer at Cologne Opera.
American bass Morris Robinson last sang Sarastro at the Met in the 2016-17 season. His other credits with the company include the King in Verdi's Aida, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, First Nazarene in Salome, Reinmar in Wagner's Tannhäuser, and the High Priest of Baal in Nabucco. Other performances this season include the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi's Don Carlo and Parsi Rustomji in Philip Glass's Satyagraha at LA Opera and Porgy in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess at Vienna Volksoper and Cincinnati Opera.
British conductor Harry Bicket, who has previously conducted Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and La Clemenza di Tito and Handel's Giulio Cesare at the Met, made his company debut conducting Handel's Rodelinda in 2004. He is currently the artistic director of The English Concert and music director of Santa Fe Opera. He has led performances at opera houses around the world, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Houston Grand Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. This season he will lead Handel's Ariodante at Lyric Opera of Chicago, a European and American tour of Handel's Semele, including a stop at Carnegie Hall; and Mozart's Così fan tutte at Santa Fe Opera.