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Mozart’s Fanciful Masterpiece The Magic Flute Closes Seattle Opera’s Season

seattle-flute2011New Production Directed by Chris Alexander,
Designed by Robert Dahlstrom with Robert Schaub
Fashion Designer Zandra Rhodes Makes Seattle Opera Debut

Seattle—Seattle Opera closes its 2010/11 season with The Magic Flute.  Mozart’s beloved fairy-tale celebrates the power of music, as a prince, a princess, and a bird-catcher try to find their own way in a world torn apart by the feud between a manipulative queen and a powerful priest.  Set in a pyramid filled with hidden dangers and magical effects worthy of an Indiana Jones adventure, Seattle Opera’s new production features the return of several Seattle favorites along with plenty of exciting debuts. The Magic Flute runs for nine performances: May 7, 8 (matinee), 11, 13, 14, 15 (matinee), 18, 20, and 21, 2011.

“Mozart and Schickaneder set The Magic Flute in their idea of Egypt,” says Seattle Opera General Director Speight Jenkins. “But few productions have expanded on the locale. Using the pyramids as a basis, our design team and director Chris Alexander have created a world of mystery, charm, and fun.”

Leading the musical forces is conductor Gary Thor Wedow, who previously conducted Giulio Cesare and Iphigénie en Tauride at Seattle Opera.  Stage Director Chris Alexander also returns to the company, where he twice won Seattle Opera’s Artist of the Year Award for Ariadne auf Naxos ‘04 and Les contes d’Hoffmann ‘05.  For both of those productions, Alexander worked with sets designed by Robert Dahlstrom, who designs the scenery for this Magic Flute along with Robert Schaub.  Although Schaub is making his mainstage debut, he’s no stranger to Seattle Opera—he’s served as the company’s Technical Director for the past two decades.  Lighting Designer Duane Schuler, returning to the company, contributes to the visual magic onstage.  Costumes for the production are by legendary British couture designer Zandra Rhodes, making her debut with the company. Rhodes, whose clothes have been worn by Jackie Onassis, Princess Diana, and Freddie Mercury of Queen, has also designed several operas.

The opening night cast of The Magic Flute features Canadian tenor John Tessier as Tamino, in his Seattle Opera debut.  Following her 2009 engagement as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, soprano Christine Brandes returns to Seattle as Pamina.  Also returning is former Young Artist Emily Hindrichs, as the Queen of the Night.  Russian bass Ilya Bannik makes his company debut as Sarastro, while baritone Philip Cutlip—a Seattle favorite who most recently appeared as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor—takes on Papageno.  Alternating with this cast for the Sunday/Friday performances are several exciting performers making their Seattle Opera debuts:  tenor Jonathan Boyd as Tamino, soprano Hanan Alattar as Pamina, soprano Mari Moriya as the Queen of the Night, bass-baritone Keith Miller as Sarastro, and baritone Leigh Melrose as Papageno.  Both casts feature tenor Doug Jones as Monostatos—a role he also performed in Seattle Opera’s 1999 production of The Magic Flute—and baritone Philip Skinner as the Speaker.

In addition to Hindrichs, this production features two other former Seattle Opera Young Artists: sopranos Anya Matanovic as the First Lady and Ani Maldjian as Papagena.  Current Young Artists appearing in the production include soprano Marcy Stonikas and mezzo-soprano Lindsey Anderson as the Second and Third Ladies and tenor Eric Neuville and bass Erik Anstine as the Two Priests.  The Two Armored Men are tenor John Christopher Adams, making his Seattle Opera debut, and bass Jonathan Silvia.  The cast also features six young performers from King County, ages 12 to 14, as the Three Genies.

The Magic Flute runs from Saturday, May 7, to Saturday, May 21.  Single tickets start at $25 and are available online at seattleopera.org, by calling 206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619, or by mobile phone at mobile.seattleopera.org.  Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office by visiting 1020 John Street (two blocks west of Fairview), Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Please note the following artist list for The Magic Flute replaces all previously announced cast lists.  Further information on the 2010/11 season and full biographies of the cast members can be found at seattleopera.org.

The Magic Flute

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder

In German with English Captions

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, Washington

9 Performances:  May 7, 8m, 11, 13, 14, 15m, 18, 20, and 21, 2011

Approximate Running Time:  3 hours, including one intermission

Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; matinees begin at 2:00 p.m.

Single ticket prices start at $25

Seattle Opera Ticket Office: 206.389.7676/800.426.1619

Online orders: www.seattleopera.org

Premiere:  Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden, Vienna, September 30, 1791

Previous Seattle Opera Presentations:  1978, 1987, 1999
Artists

Tamino:                       John Tessier†
Jonathan Boyd†*
Pamina:                        Christine Brandes
Hanan Alattar†*
Queen of the Night:     Emily Hindrichs†
Mari Moriya†*
Sarastro:                       Ilya Bannik†
Keith Miller†*
Papageno:                    Philip Cutlip
Leigh Melrose†*
Monostatos:                 Doug Jones
Speaker:                       Philip Skinner
Three Ladies:               Anya Matanovic
Marcy Stonikas†
Lindsey Anderson
Papagena:                    Ani Maldjian
First Priest:                   Eric Neuville
Second Priest:              Erik Anstine†
First Armored Man:     John Christopher Adams†
Second Armored Man: Jonathan Silvia
Three Genies:              Casi Goodman†
Max Laycock†*
Benjamin Richardson†
Madeleine Freebairn†*
Alissa Henderson†
Rachel Zamora*

Conductor:                   Gary Thor Wedow
Stage Director:             Chris Alexander
Set Designer:                Robert Dahlstrom with Robert Schaub†
Costume Designer:       Zandra Rhodes†
Lighting Designer:        Duane Schuler
English Captions:         Jonathan Dean
Sets:                             Seattle Opera
Costumes:                    San Diego Opera

† Company debut

* On May 8, 13, 15, and 20 only

Emily Hindrichs, Ani Maldjian, and Anya Matanovic are former Seattle Opera Young Artists.

Lindsey Anderson, Erik Anstine, Eric Neuville, and Marcy Stonikas are Seattle Opera Young Artists.

Production Sponsors: The Hanauer Family, Pamela J. Hoiles, Bruce and Jolene McCaw Family Foundation, and 4Culture.
Lead Artists Sponsors: John Tessier’s performances are made possible through the James and Sherry Raisbeck Lead Singers’ Fund. Philip Cutlip’s performances are made possible by Christopher and Carolyn Eagan. The Magic Flute costumes are sponsored in part by The Norman Archibald Charitable Foundation.
Individual Performance Sponsors: Russell Investments, Opening Night and Community Day Open House sponsor; Dilettante, May 8th sponsor; and Mr. H. David Kaplan, May 18th sponsor.

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About Seattle Opera

Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. The company is recognized internationally for its theatrically compelling and musically accomplished performances, especially the Opera’s interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner. Since 1975, Seattle Opera has presented 38 cycles of the Ring (three different productions), in addition to acclaimed productions of all the other major operas in the Wagner canon. Seattle Opera has achieved the highest per capita attendance of any major opera company in the United States, and draws operagoers from four continents and fifty states.

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