Atlanta Opera Brings Puppet-Filled ‘Magic Flute’ To Schools
From Papageno’s pipes and bells to that high note in the Queen of the Night’s aria, “The Magic Flute” is one of Mozart’s greatest works. It was also his last opera.
The Atlanta Opera has adapted it for younger audiences and has been taking it to schools throughout Georgia. This is through their Atlanta Opera Studio Tour, which showcases singers early in their careers
This weekend, they will perform four shows open to the public at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
“There’s a relatable character for every type of personality in the show,” said singer Christopher Dunham, who sings Tamino in the production. “It’s such a magical experience. It’s very much like a Disney experience, where everyone is represented in a fun way.”
The production is sung in English and has been cut down to an hour to entice younger listeners. Singer Bryn Holdsworth added that along with the story, the music is also accessible for those new to opera.
“The music is beautiful and quite simple. It’s not Verdi or Puccini or big Italian opera,” she said. “It’s complicated for singing, but the way Mozart writes is quite helpful for the voice.”
In addition, the roving production features puppetry, so the opera cast had to learn the tricks of the puppetry trade.
“As a singer, I found translating what puppetry needs and what opera needs incredibly easy,” said Dunham. “because of the nature of opera acting, it’s a little over the top because we have to make grand gestures in large theatrical space. And all the work we did with puppetry was quite the same.”
“The Magic Flute” at the Center for Puppetry Arts is this Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.