MSU Opera Theatre Puts Modern Twist on Mozart's 'The Magic Flute'
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Audiences of all ages will delight in a contemporary reinterpretation of a classic opera when the Michigan State University Opera Theater brings Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The Magic Flute" to East Lansing this fall.
Melanie Helton, director of MSU Opera Theatre and professor of voice, will direct the 30-member student company in their first piece of musical theater in the newly renovated Fairchild Theatre, Nov. 22, 23, and 24 (8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24). Kevin Noe, director of MSU Orchestras and professor of music, will lead the 40-piece ensemble that accompanies the opera.
Sung in English, "The Magic Flute" tells the story of Prince Tamino and his struggles to find his perfect princess. Throughout his journey, Tamino meets adorable bird catchers, fierce queens, and solemn priests who challenge or guide him along the way.
"The Magic Flute is a great opera for first-time operagoers and for families," says Helton. "There are a lot of fun and very singable melodies, and some magical twists and turns that make it suitable for children 5 and older."
Helton says much of the music in "The Magic Flute" will sound familiar to theatergoers since many popular TV shows, movies, cartoons, and commercials have featured tunes from the opera. Audiences will also experience pop culture imagery through Helton's creative costumes that resemble video game characters, and an Asian-inspired set with a moving pagoda.
"Opera, particularly this one, is truly for everyone," says Helton who brings a modern touch and a woman's point-of-view to every production. "You have singing, dancing, acting, orchestra, sets, and costumes. It's like a great musical on steroids."
Helton will preview the show and introduce the cast 45 minutes before each performance.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $5 for students, and are available from the College of Music box office – in person at the Music Building, Room 102, 333 W. Circle Drive or over the phone at (517) 353-5340 – online at music.msu.edu, or at the door one hour before the show.