Lyric Opera of Kansas City to Present Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUT, 11/9-17

Lyric Opera of Kansas City to Present Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUT, 11/9-17

Lyric Opera of Kansas City continues its 56th season with a co-production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute November 9, 13, 15 and 17, 2013 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The innovative presentations of classic works continue the 2013-14 season. An ingenious interpretation of The Magic Flute features whimsical,colorful sets and costumes by renowned visual artist Jun Kaneko. This co-production with San Francisco Opera thrilled audiences and critics alike when performed in San Francisco.

General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler stated, "When I first saw Jun Kaneko's designs, I was immediately taken by the way that Kaneko infused the opera with color, vitality, whimsy and warmth. This production is brings his artistic genius to life through projections and costumes. While his work is present in Kansas City, on display at Bartle Hall, I am excited to bring his unique vision expressed through a different medium to Kansas City."

Mozart's genius is supremely evident in his last opera, The Magic Flute. The deceptively simple fairytale story is matched with some of the most stunningly beautiful music ever written. From the coloratura pyrotechnics of the Queen of the Night's arias, to the lyrical anguish of Pamina's "Ach ich fühls," to the vaudeville-like love duet of Papageno and Papagena, the music illustrates what sets Mozart apart from his many rivals: a unique and profound understanding of humanity.

With a vibrant, sophisticated use of color and kinetic forms, Jun Kaneko, renowned ceramicist and visual artist, has created a magical world that, like Mozart's music, is engaging in its simplicity, but illustrates the depth of the story magnificently. Several of his unique pieces are on display in Kansas City, located on the exterior concrete plaza of the Bartle Hall Convention Center in downtown Kansas City.

The Magic Flute will be directed by Harry Silverstein and features tenor Shawn Mathey as Tamino, soprano Lauren Snouffer as Pamina. Snouffer was recently named a "standout singer" by the Wall Street Journal, while Mathey has been described by The Opera Critic as bringing "a rich tenor and shapely phrasing" to this role. The cast also features soprano Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night, baritone Daniel Belcher as Papageno and tenor Doug Jones as Monostatos.

The production will be conducted by Gary Thor Wedow, who is making is Lyric Opera debut.

"I am thrilled to welcome Gary Thor Wedow to Kansas City for his debut with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts," Ward Holmquist stated. "He brings a particular strength in baroque and classical music and this production will flourish under his baton. Kansas City audiences are truly fortunate to experience his vibrant and lively artistry."

Conductor Gary Thor Wedow has established an enviable reputation for dramatically exciting and historically informed performances with opera companies, orchestras, festivals, and choral organizations throughout North America. In December of 2012, he debuted with the New York Philharmonic conducting Messiah, an occasion noted in the New York Times for 'a fleet, lithe orchestral performance, aptly complemented by the buoyant singing of the chorus'. Some of his most recent successes include Gluck's Orphée and Die Zauberflöte for the Seattle Opera, Le donne curiose for Wolf Trap Opera and Agrippina for Boston Lyric Opera. Maestro Wedow has been closely associated with New York City Opera for many years; most recently he led their Don Giovanni in the Christopher Alden production and last May conducted the New York premiere of Telemann's Orpheus. Highlights of his 2012-2013 season include La finta giardiniera for the San Francisco Opera's Merola Program and a return to Seattle Opera for a double bill of La voix humaine and Suor Angelica.