07/12/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/12/2019 06:30
Posted July 12, 2019
To celebrate its 25th Anniversary-and the magic of opera-Opera Maine presents its first-ever production of Mozart's The Magic Flute. The magnificent music and captivating story create a fantasy world, where a prince and a bird catcher set out on a trial-filled journey to rescue a beautiful princess. Armed with a magic flute and enchanted bells, they confront bewildering forces of good and evil and discover enlightenment and the power of love. The twisting tale has enthralled young and old alike since the opera's premiere in 1791, less than three months before Mozart's death.
Opera Maine's production of The Magic Flute will be presented at Merrill Auditorium on Wednesday, July 24 and Friday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m. The opera will be sung in German, with English dialogue and supertitles.
Roberto Kalb, Head of Music and Resident Conductor at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, makes his Opera Maine debut conducting The MagicFlute. In a feature story in the July issue of Opera News, the Mexican-American maestro told the interviewer that while he loves conducting symphonies, 'there's something about a singer onstage, accompanied by an orchestra, delivering a message, that's unlike anything else,....That's what I live for.' This season Kalb conducted The Barber of Seville for Tulsa Opera andFrida, an opera about the artist Frida Kahlo, for Florida Grand Opera. He conducted Rigoletto for Kentucky Opera, and again for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, immediately before coming to Maine. Kalb is also an award-winning composer whose works have been performed in Mexico, France, Germany, and the U.S.
Dona D. Vaughn, Opera Maine's acclaimed Artistic Director, is the director of the production. The Magic Flute marks her 25th anniversary with Opera Maine, because she has directed every mainstage production since the company's first opera in 1995.
Singing the role of Prince Tamino is tenor Geoffrey Agpalo. He comes to Portland fresh from Michigan Opera Theatre where he performed as Jim Casy in The Grapes of Wrath. Last summer he made his role debut as Alfredo in La Traviata with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. He has also performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Pamina, the princess in distress, will be performed by soprano Brandie Sutton. She has sung leading roles with Seattle Opera, Kentucky Opera, and Knoxville Opera, and will return this fall to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera. Overseas, Ms. Sutton has performed with Staatsoper Hamburg and Semperoper Dresden, among others. Her concert work includes performances with the New York Philharmonic.
Tamino's companion in his quest is the bird catcher Papageno, a baritone role performed by Robert Mellon, who starred as Figaro in Opera Maine's 2018 production of The Marriage of Figaro. A former Opera Maine Studio Artist, Mr. Mellon made his professional debut with the company in 2016 as Le Dancaïre inCarmen. This season he made his role debut as Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni with Syracuse Opera.
Soprano Kathryn Bowden will sing the notoriously difficult music of the Queen of the Night. She performed the role with San Francisco Opera and made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the Queen in 2017. This coming season she will again sing the role with the Metropolitan Opera, as well as with San Diego Opera and the Boston Youth Symphony.
Hidenori Inoue, bass, returns to Opera Maine to sing the role of the Queen of the Night's nemesis, Sarastro. Mr. Inoue was a Studio Artist in 2017, and performed as Makoto Kobayashi in An American Dream, a role he recently reprised with Anchorage Opera and Virginia Operaporttix.com
About Opera Maine:
Founded as the Portland Opera Repertory Theatre, later shortened to PORTopera, Opera Maine presented its inaugural production, Carmen, in 1995 at the State Theatre. In 1997 the company relocated to the newly renovated Merrill Auditorium. Opera Maine offers Maine residents and visitors the only opportunity to experience fully staged and orchestrated professional opera in the state. The company's productions feature talented artists of international, national, and local fame who come together to create an outstanding experience for all who attend. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dona D. Vaughn and Executive Director Caroline M. Koelker, Opera Maine is widely respected for its community engagement and superb operatic productions and programming. For more information about Opera Maine's programs, visit OperaMaine.com and follow Opera Maine on Facebook and Instagram.