15 Highlights of 2015 – Opera in the Rock and ASO presented THE MAGIC FLUTE

680 Magic Flute LogoFully-staged, full-length opera returned to the Rock for the first time in over a decade tonight and tomorrow!

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, in partnership with Opera In The Rock, opens the 2014-2015 Intimate Neighborhood Concerts series with Mozart’s Magic Flute. Performances were on January 22 and Friday January 23 at the Albert Pike Masonic Center in downtown Little Rock.  Dancers from Arkansas Festival Ballet also appear in the performances which is stage directed by Robert Hupp, Producing Artistic Director of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) was written during the last year of Mozart’s life (1791). The opera was composed in the style of Singspiel (using sung and spoken text) and was an outlet for Mozart’s Masonic belief.

Magic Flute was an immediate success, performed over 100 times in the first two years of its existence. Mozart was not alive to see the 100th performance, having died only months after the premiere.

Tickets are $25; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online ; at the Albert Pike Masonic Center beginning 60 minutes prior to the concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100.  The Friday performance is sold out, but tickets remain for tonight’s opening.

CAST
Dana Pundt, Queen of the Night
Nicholas Nelson, Sarastro
Darren Drone, Papageno
Genevieve West Fulks, Papagena
Vernon DiCarlo, Tamino
Bonnie Frauenthal, Pamina

Others in the cast include Maria Fasciano DiCarlo, Stephanie Smittle, Kelley Ponder, Daniel Foltz-Morrison, Suzanne Banister, Kathryne Overturf, Satia Spencer, Robert Holden, Luke Frauenthal, Chase Burns and Sam Prescott

CHORUS
Sopranos: Alisa Dixon, Hayley Coughlin, Margaret McMurray, LaSheena Gordon
Altos: Claire Wilkinson, Melissa Wilcox, Sarah Blakey
Tenors: Adam Baldwin, Aaron Baker, Jonathan Treloggen, Josiah Wheeler, Sage Shaddox
Basses: J.J. Albrecht, Luke Frauenthal

PROGRAM
MOZART: Die Zauberflöte, K. 620 (text by Ruth and Thomas Martin)

Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE brings opera back to LR in joint venture of ASO and Opera in the Rock

680 Magic Flute LogoFully-staged, full-length opera returns to the Rock for the first time in over a decade tonight and tomorrow!

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, in partnership with Opera In The Rock, opens the 2014-2015 Intimate Neighborhood Concerts series with Mozart’s Magic Flute. Performances are on Thursday, January 22nd and Friday January 23rd at 7 p.m. at the Albert Pike Masonic Center in downtown Little Rock.  Dancers from Arkansas Festival Ballet also appear in the performances which is stage directed by Robert Hupp, Producing Artistic Director of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

The opera is filled with symbolism, especially focused on the number three.  Examples include the opening with Der Dreimalige Akkord, the thrice-repeated chord, three Ladies, three Spirits, and even the selection of key: E-flat major in three flats.

Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) was written during the last year of Mozart’s life (1791). The opera was composed in the style of Singspiel (using sung and spoken text) and was an outlet for Mozart’s Masonic belief.

Magic Flute was an immediate success, performed over 100 times in the first two years of its existence. Mozart was not alive to see the 100th performance, having died only months after the premiere.

Tickets are $25; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online ; at the Albert Pike Masonic Center beginning 60 minutes prior to the concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100.  The Friday performance is sold out, but tickets remain for tonight’s opening.

CAST
Dana Pundt, Queen of the Night
Nicholas Nelson, Sarastro
Darren Drone, Papageno
Genevieve West Fulks, Papagena
Vernon DiCarlo, Tamino
Bonnie Frauenthal, Pamina

Others in the cast include Maria Fasciano DiCarlo, Stephanie Smittle, Kelley Ponder, Daniel Foltz-Morrison, Suzanne Banister, Kathryne Overturf, Satia Spencer, Robert Holden, Luke Frauenthal, Chase Burns and Sam Prescott

CHORUS
Sopranos: Alisa Dixon, Hayley Coughlin, Margaret McMurray, LaSheena Gordon
Altos: Claire Wilkinson, Melissa Wilcox, Sarah Blakey
Tenors: Adam Baldwin, Aaron Baker, Jonathan Treloggen, Josiah Wheeler, Sage Shaddox
Basses: J.J. Albrecht, Luke Frauenthal

PROGRAM
MOZART: Die Zauberflöte, K. 620 (text by Ruth and Thomas Martin)

About the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 49th season in 2014-2015, under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann. ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall, and performs more than sixty concerts each year for more than 165,000 people through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, ACXIOM Pops LIVE! Series, River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series, and numerous concerts performed around the state of Arkansas, in addition to serving central Arkansas through numerous community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 26,000 school children and over 200 schools.

Opera In The Rock
Opera in the Rock is 501(c)3 professional opera company that was formed in the spring of 2012. Our mission is to enrich the cultural life of Arkansas through opera by utilizing local, state and regional talents. Our purpose is to produce main stage opera and a continuing opera review series, in addition to providing educational and outreach programs for our community youth through the Jennifer Boccarossa Young Artist Program. Our goal is to provide local, state and regional talents an opportunity to further their artistic careers. Opera In The Rock is partially funded by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Les Miserables Continues at Ark Rep

replesmizTwenty-seven years ago today, on March 12, 1987, Les Miserables opened on Broadway.  The production won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical. It eventually ran for 6,680 performances.  After being revived on Broadway in 2006 and spawning an Oscar winning movie in 2012, another Broadway revival is currently in New York.

Arkansas residents do not have to travel to New York (or Netflix) to see Les Miserables.  The Arkansas Repertory Theatre has brought the production back to life on its Little Rock stage.  Following an acclaimed 2008 production, Rep Producing Artistic Director Robert Hupp has again directed the show for Arkansas audiences.  It opened last Friday night and runs through April 6.

Douglas Webster and Christopher Carl return to their roles of protagonist and antagonist as Jean Valjean and Javert, respectively.  Joining them are Christopher Behmke as the romantic revolutionary Marius, Matthew Hugg as pint-sized revolutionary Gavroche, Karenssa LeGear as Valjean’s adoptive daughter Cosette, Mary Little as the waif Eponine, Caleb Reese as revolutionary leader Enjolras, Danielle Erin Rhodes as the doomed Fantine, Sydni Whitfield as Young Cosette, and Michael Sample & Terey Summers and the scheming Thenardiers. Others in the cast are Kelsie Adkisson, Alex Bush, Price Clark, Monica Clark-Robinson, Darren Drone, Hannah Eakin, Marisa Kirby, Bailey Lamb, Greg Robinson, Makayla Shope, Alyssa Sowers, Benjamin Stidam, Billy Clark Taylor and Paul Thiemann.

In addition to Hupp as director, the creative team includes choreography by Robert Kolby Harper and music direction by Mark Binns. The design team features Mike Nichols (scenery), Rafael Colon Castanera (costumes), Yael Lubetzky (lighting), Allan Branson (sound), Lynda J. Kwallek (props) and Rob Pickens (wigs).

Performances are Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm and 7pm.  During the run, there are Tuesday performances at 7pm on March 18 and April 1.