**Note as of 3 pm, Friday, June 15, online ticket sales for that night's performance will not be available for purchase. You may buy tickets at Quincy County Market stores or at the door. Tickets are available for Saturday, June 16 online here. Thank you.
A prince and a narrow escape from a dragon, a birdman and a clash with an enchanted queen--Mozart’s fairytale opera has them all! But underneath the whimsy, loyal friendship and honorable character matter deeply as Muddy River Opera Company presents Mozart’s The Magic Flute in the Mary Ellen Orr Auditorium at John Wood Community College on Friday, June 15 at 7 pm and Saturday, June 16 in a 3 pm matinee. An Opera Insight with Dr. Carol Mathieson a half hour before each performance will explain why such zaniness and idealism could exist together in the Enlightenment world of the 18th century yet still delight audiences today.
Following the European custom of presenting opera in the language of its audience, MROC will perform The Magic Flute in English with full orchestra. Following the mission established by founders Mary Anne Scott and Mary Jane McClosky, MROC will blend both established and aspiring professionals with enthusiastic and able community musicians to offer the region an outstanding opera experience. Young opera-goers are very welcome.
Returning from last season’s successful production of Carmen, Drs. Penelope Shumate (WIU faculty) and Steven Soebbing (JWCC) appear as the princess Pamina and the Birdcatcher Papageno with MROC veteran of many productions Lisa Blake (Culver-Stockton College) singing Queen’s Third Lady. Nebraska maestro David Galant (Suor Angelica and Carmen) returns to conduct Magic Flute, while Mark Freiman (La Bohème) returns to Quincy from St. Louis to direct. Longtime MROC chorus master Paul Shelor will train all the sprites and priests and courtiers that give the production a touch of grandeur.
Students returning from the Carmen production include Matthew Scheuermann (C-SC), David Czechut-Webb (QU), and Aiden Singh (Milliken) as priests and armed men. Several additional student performers have come to MROC through their participation in the Company’s Opera Outreach program in partnership with C-SC, JWCC, and QU.
Many choristers have sung with MROC before, but many are new to the Company. New among the featured characters, but no stranger to the Quincy area, Amanda Saul Ensign (WIU graduate college) rages as the Queen of the Night who tries to force all she meets to bow to her reign of chaos. Resisting her power, Prince Tamino (Dr. Richard Leonberger of Austin State University) holds true to his innate nobility with the guidance of the sage Sarastro (Zachary Palmer, WIU student) and the help of an enchanted flute. The Queen’s Ladies (Blake, C-SC student Hali Liles, and WIU faculty Mary McMurtery) deliver orders, curses, and magical instruments to stir the cauldron of chaos.
To defeat chaos and win Pamina’s hand, Tamino is commanded to endure several trials. Mozart and librettist Schikaneder had a looming performance deadline but, as members of a Masonic Lodge, they knew effective ritual that they could adapt quickly for The Magic Flute. For this production, MROC welcomes the Quincy Consistory Scottish Rite and is grateful for their participation and the use of their regalia in the scenes in which Tamino proves himself worthy.
Tickets for Mozart’s The Magic Flute are $20 at the door or in advance at both Quincy County Market stores, or online here. For more information, visit muddyriveropera.org.