WCSU ensemble to stage English-language production Feb. 8, 9 and 10
The Western Connecticut State University Opera Ensemble will present Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in four performances on Feb. 8, 9 and 10 at the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.
The WCSU Opera Ensemble cast, directed by Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup, will perform the two-act opera in English, translated from the original German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. Evening performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9, with matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10. General admission is $25, with a ticket price of $15 for seniors and children under 12. Reservations may be made online at www.eventbrite.com/e/the-magic-flute-tickets-53202740830.
The WCSU Opera program has received national recognition for the excellence of its productions, earning first-place honors for its spring 2018 presentation of Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” in the 2017-18 Opera Production Competition sponsored by the National Opera Association.
“The Magic Flute,” which premiered in Vienna two months before Mozart’s death in 1791, recounts the tale of Prince Tamino’s quest to rescue and ultimately marry Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night. Aided by a magic flute that turns sorrow to joy and accompanied by his worldly companion Papageno, Tamino endures trials in the temple of the high priest Sarastro to prove his worthiness to wed Pamina, while the queen and her accomplice Monostatos are banished for scheming to prevent their marriage and destroy the temple.
“‘The Magic Flute’ is one of the most delightful operas in the repertoire,” Astrup remarked. “It was Mozart’s last opera, and many consider it his best. With set pieces and dialogue, the form is that of a ‘singspiel’ or ‘sing-play’ opera, not so different from contemporary musical theatre. By presenting our production in English, we are making it truly accessible to everyone.”
Most principal roles in the opera have been double cast for separate performances. Sergio Mandujano, of Norwalk, and Edwin Rodriguez, of New Haven, will appear as Prince Tamino; Callie Sorrento, of Carmel, New York, and Christine Manalo, of Watertown, as Pamina; Sam Cournoyer, of Seymour, and Anthony Deluco, of Cheshire, as Papageno; and Tiffany Owen, of Stratford, and Natalie Andrews, of Salem, as Papagena. Amy Cerbie, of Meriden, and Olivia Doolittle, of Trumbull, will share the role of the Queen of the Night; Peter Ryan, of Watertown, and Zachary Nelson, of Hopewell Junction, New York, will be featured as Monostatos; and Dan Satter, of Trumbull, will appear in all performances as Sarastro.
The WCSU Orchestra will be conducted by Associate Professor of Music Dr. Fernando Jimenez. Sets have been designed by Adjunct Professor of Theatre Arts Joshua “Joshbob” Rose, with costumes by Summer Lee Jack.
The WCSU Alumni Association will host a special evening package on Feb. 9 featuring a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. at The Daily Grind in the Westside Campus Center followed by the 7:30 p.m. performance of “The Magic Flute.” The fee for the reception and opera admission is $30 per guest. Tickets may be purchased online at http://wcsu.edu/alumni/2018/12/11/the-magic-flute-saturday-feb-9/; inquiries should be directed to the WCSU Alumni Association at (203) 837-8298.
For more information about the opera production, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.