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Opera adaptation staged for children at MSU

November 12, 2010

SDN Staff Reports

Theatre MSU’s annual children’s production will be taking on a musical twist this year with 10 performances of a classic opera.
Theatre MSU, in conjunction with the MSU Department of Music, will be staging Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s classic “The Magic Flute” Nov. 15 to 19 in the main stage theater at McComas Hall.
Most of the performances will be staged for children in area schools, and it is estimated that some 2,000 children, teachers and administrators will enjoy what the 30 cast and crew member bring to the stage, said Dr. Donna L. Clevinger, stage director for the opera.
The libretto of the opera has been adapted by Emanuel Schikaneder into a one-hour version easily enjoyed by young adults and children, she said.
“The theatre program is very excited to be working with the Department of Music on a joint production of Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ for the annual children’s show,” said Clevinger.
“This one-hour adaptation has been a proven hit, suitable for children and young adults. This work is in the form of a ‘Singspiel,’ a popular form which includes both sung and spoken dialogue.”
Clevinger received a grant from the Starkville Area Arts Council to help defray some of the cost of the production.
“The money is going to be use specifically for the materials we create for the students,” Clevinger said.
Each child who attends the performance will be given an activity bag with information about flutes, opera, theatre and Mozart to help enhance the children’s experience. Materials are also provided for teachers to use in the classroom after the performance.
“This is a big deal because so few communities offer opera for children,” Clevinger said. “It’s unique to our area and it’s certainly affordable.”
A synopsis of the plot of “The Magic Flute” follows:
“Sarastro, the wise priest of Isis and Osiris, has taken the beautiful princess Pamina to the temple for the purpose of releasing her from the influence of her mother, the Queen of the Night.
“The Queen persuades the young Prince Tamino to go in search of her daughter and free her from the power of Sarastro. Tamino, accompanied by the Queens’s birdcatcher, Papageno, finally accomplishes this. “However, Tamino becomes a disciple of Sarastro; whose mildness and wisdom he has learned to admire. At the end of the story, the Prince and Princess are united after enduring several trials through courage, knowledge, love and the gift of the magic flute.”
In addition to Clevinger, the production staff for “The Magic Flute” includes:
• Musical director — Dr. Rebecca Wascoe, assistant professor of voice in the Department of Music.
• Costumer — Melanie Harris, instructor in the Department of Communication.
• Technical director — Wayne Durst, associate professor in the Department of Communication.
• Assistant director — Wayne Davis, visiting lecturer for voice in the Department of Music.
Though most of the performances are scheduled for the school children, one public performance of “The Magic Flute” has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Nov. 21 in McComas Hall.
General admission tickets cost $10 each, while student tickets cost $5 each. For information or to make reservations, call 325-9162.

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