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Dayton Opera Continues its 2014-2015 New Horizons Season with Mozart’s Mirthful and Mystical The Magic Flute



CONTACT: ANGELA WHITEHEAD
Communications & Media Manager

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x 1138
awhitehead@daytonperformingarts.org


DAYTON, OH (November 3, 2014) – On Friday, November 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 23 at 3 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Dayton Opera, under the artistic direction of Thomas Bankston, will present Mozart’s mirthful singspiel The Magic Flute (sung in German, with English dialogue and surtitles above the stage). The Leadership Sponsors for this performance are Premier Health and the Tatar Family Fund of the Dayton Foundation. The Performance Sponsor is Bob Ross Auto Group, and the Associate Sponsors are The Dayton Masonic Foundation/ Ohio Masonic Home Foundation and Vectren.  DPAA Innovation Partner is the DP&L Foundation: Powering Innovation in the Arts.

The Magic Flute is a fable concerning an evil queen and her nemesis, the wise and mystic sorcerer Sarastro, and their relationship with two young initiates, Tamino and Pamina, who happen to have fallen in love. As we follow the trials of this handsome prince and his newfound paramour, we accompany them on their path and discover what it means to be tested by the fates, to learn the lessons of life, and to triumph in the end.

Of course all of this is conveyed by Mozart's amazing gift of melody and ensemble writing, propelled by Emanuel Schikaneder's comic libretto. Interestingly, to this day, scholars are not exactly sure who wrote the text. Mozart and Schikaneder borrowed freely from multiple sources, including Masonic symbolism, to create situations that are farcical yet thought-provoking.

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of Mozart’s final, and possibly most adored, opera is that it communicates on two levels. It is a disarming and comedic portrayal of the trials and rewards of youthful love and companionship and at the same time a symbolic expression of the central principles of the Age of Enlightenment. Mozart's artistic inspiration may have been born of his times, but the story and music continue to speak to all generations.

After the success of her staging of Dayton Opera’s grand production of Aida this past May, Kathleen Clawson returns to Dayton Opera as Stage Director for The Magic Flute.  This will be Kathleen’s eighth time with Dayton Opera, and the company is thrilled to have her back as she brings exciting energy, enthusiasm and expertise to the stage.  Kathleen is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico but considers Dayton a “home away from home.”
 
Thomas Bankston has once again assembled an incredible cast of extraordinary singing and acting talent to bring The Magic Flute to life.  Sorprano Hye Jung Lee hails from Seoul, South Korea and makes her Dayton Opera debut as the fiercely protective and somewhat shadowy Queen of the Night.  Caitlin Cisler, soprano and member of Dayton Opera’s 2012-2013 Artist-in-Residence Program, takes the stage as Pamina, with perhaps the most emotionally charged and deeply felt arias as she wrestles between her love for her mother, Queen of the Night, and her love for Tamino.  Tenor Dominic Armstrong makes his Dayton Opera debut in the beloved role of Tamino, who discovers the true enchanted powers of his beautiful instrument as he charms the characters on stage, and the audience, with his magic flute.  In his Dayton Opera debut, bass Jeremy Galyon plays the Queen’s archenemy Sarastro, whose deep wisdom ultimately guides Tamino and Pamina toward the truth.  Kenneth Stavert, also a part of Dayton Opera’s 2012-2013 Artist-in-Residence Program, returns to the Mead Theatre Stage in the leading role of Papageno, the birdcatcher, a clumsy, comical character who adds lightheartedness and joy as a juxtaposition to the drama that begins to unfold on stage. And veteran of many roles with Dayton Opera, bass-baritone Thomas Hammons returns to perform the Speaker of the Temple.

Singing actors with close ties to Dayton also take the stage this November in this production.  University of Dayton voice faculty members soprano Andrea Chenoweth and debuting mezzo-soprano Ryu Kyung Kim join the cast as two of the Three Ladies in service to the Queen of the Night.  Two soon-to-be residents of Dayton, who will be joining Dayton Opera’s Artists-in-Residence (AIR) program this January, make their Dayton Opera debuts. Incoming AIR soprano Sara Schabas will play the role of Papagena to Stavert’s Papageno, and AIR mezzo-soprano Amanda Fink joins Chenoweth and Kim as one of the Three Ladies.  Former AIR tenor Logan Rucker returns in his fourth appearance on the Mead Theatre stage as Monostatos.

The Dayton Opera Chorus, under Chorus Master Jeffrey Powell, rounds out the cast, filling the stage with both solemnity and delight in this mythical land between the sun and the moon.  The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra plays a starring role as well under the direction of Conductor Patrick Reynolds, Associate Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic, providing Mozart’s mirthful melodies.
 
Opera lovers are invited to enjoy a few hours of fantasy, humor, mystery, and wonder in the intimate company of Dayton Opera's cast of acclaimed singers backed by the Dayton Philharmonic.  To learn even more about The Magic Flute, ticket holders can come one hour prior to both performances to hear pre-performance talks presented by University of Dayton music professor Dr. Sam Dorf.  Delicious “Opera bites” are also available in the Wintergarden before the performance and at the first intermission.

Tickets for The Magic Flute range from $38 to $94 and are available at www.daytonperformingarts.org or by calling Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630. Senior and student discounts are available. For more information or to order subscriptions for the full 2014-2015 season of Dayton Opera, visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.

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About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.  The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is proud to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.
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