Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Eastern Echo Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

EMU Opera Magic Flute reduced-4298.jpg

Entire Mozart opera performance at EMU

A production of an entire opera, Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” is set to perform at Eastern Michigan University for the first time in possibly 15 years. 

EMU School of Music and Dance is showcasing a full performance of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" opera in Pease Auditorium on April 5 and 7 starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be $20 for adults and $10 for students and children.

Though there may have been past performances of select acts in an opera, an entire production has not been done in many years. The English-translated opera is set with performers from EMU Opera Workshop, Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir, and others assisting with the production. 

Chad Hutchinson, director of orchestral activities, spoke on the reputation and wide appeal of the opera. 

"If you were to name the top five operas ever, 'The Magic Flute' would be named every time. It is a classic that has stood the test of time. It is a great story that is very accessible for audiences which is something we were striving for," Hutchinson said. 

The opera is a combination of romance, comedy, and battles between evil and good. It surrounds a tale about a prince, Tamino, charged by the Queen of the Night to save her daughter, Princess Pamina, with the help of a magic flute. However, once he arrives to save the princess a new set of challenges await.  

Hutchinson touched on how this production is an ideal "entry point" to opera for those who have not attended before.

"Parts of the opera have been put throughout popular culture for years, I think people will recognize some of the melodies and some of the famous arias [solo] if they were to come out and part take in some of the performances," Hutchinson said. 

The Director of the Opera Workshop, Curtis Peters, said choosing this opera was an intentional choice with student participation and experience in mind to engage them “while having deep roots in musical history.”

"I felt that one really nice thing about 'The Magic Flute' is it requires a large cast that would give us a chance to get as many students involved as I could imagine in a full-scale opera," Peters said. 

The production has over 100 people involved in its performance on April 5 and 7. Though the show’s debut is right around the corner, there was some hesitation when the idea to perform the entire opera initially arose in the late summer of 2023.

"When we first talked about it, there was some skepticism as to whether this was even possible because it is a big undertaking to do a full opera. But, I have just seen all these different departments pull together [to make it happen]," Peters said.

To purchase tickets, links can be found on the EMU School of Music and Dance website along with EMU Event Calendar, with Hutchinson encouraging attendance. 

"I would really love for this to become a tradition at EMU. I think it's a great opportunity not only for the campus community but the larger Ypsilanti community to celebrate amazingly talented musicians," Hutchinson said. "It is a chance to come out and check out from your cell phone, check out from everything else, and enjoy great art."