Utah Opera Continues With THE MAGIC FLUTE

Utah Opera continues its 2018-19 season with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute, a fairytale-like story with lessons of courage, respect, and truth. Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer together with Stage Director Paul Peers will lead five performances at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South) on March 9 and 15 at 7:30 PM, March 11 and 13 at 7 PM, and March 17 at 2 PM. Tickets, priced from $29-$108, and $15 student tickets, are available for purchase through www.utahopera.org or by calling 801-533-6683.

Set in an indeterminate fantasy-realm, the opera follows the archetypal journey of the young Orphic hero who must leave home, face danger, and learn crucial life lessons. Our hero, the prince Tamino, follows in the footsteps of Beowulf, Peer Gynt, and David Copperfied to learn, in Dickens' words, that The best steel must go through the fire. And his bride, the princess Pamina, is a true heroine always truthful and never shrinking from danger. Remarkably, unlike Tamino, she never asks for help. Together they learn to face life courageously, respecting the sacred bond of matrimony and the power of truth.

Conducted by Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer, Mozart's The Magic Flute, beloved by audiences for more than 200 years, returns to the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre stage. Returning to the Utah Opera stage as Pamina is soprano Zulimar L pez-Hern ndez, who made her debut with the company in May 2016 as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. Tamino will be portrayed by tenor Andrew Stenson, who sang Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio in his Utah Opera debut in May 2014. Baritone Joo Won Kang will make his debut at Utah Opera as Papageno. Monostatos will be sung by tenor Joseph Gaines, who made his debut with Utah Opera in March 2014 singing Pong in Turandot. He also appeared as Goro in the October 2014 production of Madame Butterfly and Flask in the new production of Moby-Dick in January 2018.

Celena Shafer, a native Utahn and favorite of Utah Opera and Utah Symphony audiences alike, returns as the Queen of the Night, a role she is performing for the first time. I feel that this company [Utah Opera] and community have always nurtured, supported, and believed in my talent, Celena Shafer explains. The first opera I ever saw was 'Carmen' at Utah Opera when I was 11 years old with my fifth-grade class at education night. I was enthralled. It was only a few years later that I decided I wanted to be an opera singer.

Ms. Shafer has sung countless roles with Utah Opera over the years, garnering acclaim for her silvery voice, fearlessly committed acting and phenomenal technique. She has won praise for her roles with Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Most recently with Utah Opera, Mrs. Shafer performed the role of Musetta in La Boheme , and she sang with the Utah Symphony Mozart's Mass in C Minor led by Markus Stenz.

Thierry Fischer, Utah Symphony's Music Director, returns to lead the orchestra, cast, and Utah Opera Chorus after his Utah Opera debut conducting The Rake's Progress in May 2015. The production is directed by Paul Peers, known for his work in theater, musical theater, and opera, including Matt Marks's Mata Hari at the 2017 PROTOTYPE Festival. Mr. Peers was the stage director for The Magic Flute in March 2013.

Utah Opera Artistic Director Christopher McBeth said, We have a fantastic cast for this presentation including Andrew Stenson and Zulimar L pez-Hern ndez, who have both had major successes in Mozart operas with Utah Opera in recent years, and Joseph Gaines who was a big part of our triumph last season in 'Moby-Dick'.

The Magic Flute was the last opera Mozart composed. It premiered on September 30, 1791 roughly three months before he died at the age of 35. Mozart himself conducted the orchestra, while the librettist, Emanuel Schikaneder, sang the role of Papageno. Mozart wrote a few of the roles in The Magic Flute for close friends: Tamino for Benedikt Schack, the Queen of the Night for his sister-in-law Josepha Hofer, and Papageno for the librettist, Schikaneder.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born into a family of musicians. He began composing at age five, and played before the Bavarian Elector and Austrian Empress at age six. A child prodigy, Mozart had composed two operas and several symphonies and string quartets before he turned twenty. Mozart is most famous for his operatic works Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro . Mozart's last year was, until his final illness struck, a time of great productivity during which he wrote The Magic Flute . In December of 1791, three and a half weeks after Mozart's death, his widow Constanze offered to send a manuscript score of The Magic Flute to the electoral court in Bonn.

Librettist Emmanuel Schikaneder was a prominent German actor, singer, playwright, and theatre manager now chiefly remembered as the librettist of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute . His libretto for The Magic Flute , set to music by his friend Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and his superb performance in the role of Papageno at the premiere in 1791, raised him to the peak of his popularity.

I'm thrilled to once again have Thierry Fischer at the musical helm for 'The Magic Flute'. Artistic Director Christopher McBeth said.

The production is approximately three hours with one 20-minute intermission.

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