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.

Go INTO THE WOODS this weekend at UALR

UALR Opera Theater will journey Into the Woods on April 20 and 22 as it presents the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine award winning musical. (This is of special interest to the Culture Vulture who shares a common ancestor with the Brothers Grimm, on whose stories this musical is based.)

Encounter familiar characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (of the beanstalk), Cinderella and more as they strive to get their wishes. Follow the Baker and his wife as they search for magical ingredients to undo the spell the Witch has placed which prevents them from having a child. Watch as their dreams come true and reality sets it. Composer Sondheim and book writer James Lapine weave our favorite fables together in this cautionary grown-up fairy-tale about sacrifice, consequence and community.

Directed by 2009 UALR graduate Matthew K. Tatus and conducted by associate professor Bevan Keating, performances will take place at 7:30 pm on April 20 and 3pm on April 22 at the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall.  UALR student admission is free, children between the ages of 5-17 are $5, and general admission is $15. For tickets, call 501-569-8993 or order online at UALR Music Department Box Office.

The cast includes Christine Woods of Little Rock as Milky White/Snow White • David Lucian Angelo of Little Rock as Jack • Derrick Herman of Monticello as the baker • Ekaterina Kotcherguina of Little Rock as Cinderella • Erica Finnie of Searcy as Cinderella’s stepmother

J.J. Albrecht of Monticello as the steward • Jacqueline Forrester of Little Rock as the witch • Jessica Williams of Lantana, Texas, as Rapunzel • Katherine Ray of Jasper as Granny • Kevin Ezell of White Hall as Rapunzel’s prince • La’Leata May Westbrook of Little Rock as Lucinda.

Larry Burton of Little Rock will narrate and play the part of The Mysterious Man • LaSheena V. Gordon  of Little Rock as Florinda • Melissa Wilcox of Little Rock as Milky White’s Imposter/Sleeping Beauty • Memory Rose Apata of Little Rock as Jack’s mother • Michael Lowe of Little Rock as Cinderella’s prince • Rachel Manasco of Little Rock as Little Red Riding Hood • Regina Gallucci of Benton as Cinderella’s mother/the giant • Satia Spencer of DeWitt as the baker’s wife • Steven Armstrong of North Little Rock as Cinderella’s father