On March 24, the Queens College Opera presented Mozart’s “Magic Flute” at the LeFrak Concert Hall. The Sunday matinee was conducted by Elizabeth Hastings. The tickets are $20, with students only having to pay $5 with valid ID at the box office window. The songs were sung in German with English dialogues and supertitles.
According to a synopsis given by the Metropolitan Opera, it is set in “a mythical land between the sun and the moon. Three ladies in the service of the Queen of the Night save Prince Tamino from a serpent. The ladies return to give Tamino a portrait of the queen’s daughter, Pamina, who they say has been enslaved by the evil Sarastro. Tamino immediately falls in love with the girl’s picture. The queen tells Tamino about the loss of her daughter and commands him to rescue her. The ladies give a magic flute to Tamino and silver bells to Papageno to ensure their safety on the journey and appoint three spirits to guide them.”
The production was a great success and I could not help but admire how they managed to do so much with the resources they had. Allan Ludman, a professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said that the performance featured “remarkable talent”.
His wife, Dr. Elaine Ludman, also said that “The whole thing was wonderful. The orchestra and the conductor also did a great job. The actors did a great job of showing chemistry and emotion on stage. While I was watching, I really believed that Prince Tamino and Pamina were in love.”
Upon being interviewed after the show, Aaron Meives, the bass player said that “This is a timeless show and I’m thankful that we were all able to bring something special to the table to make it happen.”
Meives also said, “Papageno was funny.” This sentiment was shared by many audience members as well. He went on to say that another moment he found funny was when “Monostatos gets caught by Sarastro for the second time.” When asked what his favorite part was he said, “It was when we played the Second Night as it was when everything was very smooth.” That part of the opera was indeed very beautiful and the cast deserved a standing ovation for their hard work.
Carolyn Coe, the costume designer, also deserves recognition for her hard work. The costumes for the characters were interesting and fun to look at. The three spirits were dressed in three separate colors: blue, purple, and gold. The costume for Papageno was beautifully crafted. It had shades of red, orange, and yellow, likely symbolizing fire. He had a crown of feathers on his head with feathers on his back. The stage crew beautifully incorporated the detail of him carrying a cage of birds when he first appeared on stage.The costume for Sarastro was also well done. He had a golden crown in the shape of an arc; the tunic was white with a brown-ish cloak and a gold belt. It gave the impression that he was important. Sarastro was played by Paul Greene Dennis. When asked what his favorite performance was, he said that his favorite was the “second long aria for the second half of the opera and the trio that I did with the prince.” I agree it sounded lovely; his voice was musical and perfectly suited to the character. I would like to give my thanks to the stage crew — they deserve a lot of credit as well. All in all, it was a fantastic performance and I would love to see another one.