UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- On the surface, “The Magic Flute” tells the tale of a prince out to rescue the daughter of a queen. But dig a little deeper and audiences will find there are stories within stories when Toronto’s Opera Atelier brings its heralded production of Mozart’s final and most beloved opera, featuring live music performed by Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, to Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18.
Tickets for the Center for the Performing Arts presentation are $62 for an adult, $20 for a University Park student and $41 for a person 18 and younger. Tickets are available online at www.cpa.psu.edu or by phone at 814-863-0255 or 800-ARTS-TIX. Tickets are also available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk (weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.
Opera Atelier’s “The Magic Flute,” which takes place in an imaginary ancient Egypt, premiered in 1991 and was the first fully staged period production of the opera in North America. It toured to Vancouver Opera in 1992 and remains Opera Atelier’s most popular production. It was redesigned in 2001, and the most recent presentation of the new production took place in 2006. The adaptation, which Opera Atelier co-artistic director Marshall Pynkoski said is popular with people of all ages, is performed in English with English supertitles.
“This is a classic, accessible fairy tale that adults can come away thinking they’ve experienced something profound, and kids can come away with something simple and that they saw a glorious story unfold,” Pynkoski said. “It’s the best opera that is out there to reach out to young people — both teenagers and very young people. The children are going to experience something new and hopefully come away being enchanted and wanting to experience it again.”
Members of Canada’s premier Baroque opera/ballet company are scheduled to take part in a five-day residency at Penn State as part of the Center for the Performing Arts Classical Music Project. The residency culminates in a performance of The Magic Flute, the first time Opera Atelier’s newest version of the opera has toured.
“I think it’s just wonderful that Penn State is working to engage audiences through the Classical Music Project,” Pynkoski said. “Creating ways to showcase the art form is crucial, and we are delighted to be a part of the great work that’s being done.”
Pynkoski and Co-artistic Director Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg visited the University Park campus in February to meet with students, faculty and community members and introduce the company’s work.
The public is invited to a Salon Evening at 7 p.m. Monday, April 15, in The Nittany Lion Inn Boardroom. Pynkoski and Zingg will share insights into their production of “The Magic Flute” and discuss why the company’s adaptation of the Mozart opera is different than others. Center for the Performing Arts director George Trudeau moderates the 90-minute salon, which includes an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.
Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for “The Magic Flute” performance at no extra charge to ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Gerard Gauci, who designed “The Magic Flute” set, will be offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.
Kish Bank sponsors the presentation with additional support provided by Carnegie Inn & Spa, Fine Dining and Stocker Chevrolet. WPSU is the media sponsor.
Photos related to Opera Atelier and The Magic Flute for media use are available to download at http://cpa.psu.edu/internal/presslibrary.html.
Find the Center for the Performing Arts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pscpa.