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MU School of Theater and Music presents a night of opera

Oct. 13, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Get ready for a night at the Opera.

The Marshall University School of Theater and Music is presenting a fully-staged production of "The Magic Flute." The last work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the comedic opera tells the tale of Prince Tamino and his sidekick Papageno who IS sent by the Queen of the Night on a quest to rescue the Princess Pamina. However it soon becomes apparent that the Pamina's captor Sarasto isn't quite the villain he first appears to be and our heroes are put on a series of trials to prove themselves to a benevolent fraternity.

The opera will be performed in English and presented at Jean Carlo Stephenson Auditorium in Huntington City Hall. The opera will start at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20. General admission tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under and groups. Marshall students are admitted free with student IDs. Tickets are available at the door. To reserve tickets or more information, call 304-696-3117.

"We began planning this last spring," said Linda Dobbs, Marshall professor and director of the production. "It has been seven years since the opera program did a staged production with the Marshall Symphony Orchestra. It is difficult to get these things on the agenda because they are time consuming for both programs. That's a big deal for us. I've done many one act operas and opera galas but this is my first fully staged opera.

The last fully staged opera was "Hansel and Gretel" in 2006.

"This year we decided we had the right people to produce this," Dobbs said. "When you produce an opera you have to have as we say, the horses. You need the tenor who can sing the high notes, the soprano with breath to spare, and the baritone who can hit the low notes. We chose the cast and they received the vocal score over the summer. They started rehearsing before school began."

Rehearsals have been fast-paced but thorough," said Michael Rose, a senior vocal music performance major from Charleston who has been cast as Tamino.

"We have taken a lot of time to go into great detail of what does my character do and why do I sing this?," he said. "And what detail do we go into things physically? These rehearsals wouldn't be possible with an adjunct faculty member named Will Murphy who takes on the role of the entire orchestra by himself. The cast, as you can imagine, has spent a great deal of time in class and our own personal time to make sure we can present this to the Huntington audience who doesn't exactly get the opportunity to see a work of art like this very often."

Local children are also involved in a special role.

"There's a wonderful scene in the show where Tamino uses his magic flute for the first time and it charms all of the animals of the forest," Dobbs said. "Those animals are played by children from the Art Center School of Dance from here in Huntington directed by Elle Hay. We also have a ballet dance in the second act which features dancers schooled by her as well."



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