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Dallas Opera’s ‘The Magic Flute’ is an enchanting romp filled with surprises

The Magic Flute at the Winspear Opera House by The Dallas Opera. Starring Ava Pine, Shawn Mathey (shown) and Patrick Carfizzi.
The Magic Flute at the Winspear Opera House by The Dallas Opera. Starring Ava Pine, Shawn Mathey (shown) and Patrick Carfizzi.
Michael L. Haynes

The Dallas Opera "The Magic Flute"


Dallas Opera’s “The Magic Flute” is a wild romp filled with luscious voices, a stunning orchestra and enchanting scenery.

The Dallas Opera's "The Magic Flute" ends a remarkable 2011-12 season. Starring Ava Pine, Shawn Mathey and Patrick Carfizzi.
Michael L. Haynes

The impressive soprano Ava Pine as Pamina is a Dallas favorite. Her light flirtatious manner and effortless coloratura is an artistic roller coaster of fast notes and trills. Well worth the wait the long sought after lyrical tenor Shawn Mathey stars as Tamino. Thanks to the tenacity of TDO’s Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, his Dallas Opera debut is a great success. “He is simply one of the finest Mozartean tenors in the world…we have spent years trying to lure him to Dallas,” explains Pell.

The magical scene stealer bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi as the lovesick Birdman, Papageno, keeps the audience laughing throughout the production.
Carfizzi’s comic genius includes spontaneous interactions with the audience and delivering perfectly timed comic phrases in English. This production also features wonderful satire and some inside humor for the Texas audience. Mozart would have loved the crazy Texas culture and appreciated the habit of poking fun at our grandiose Texas-size egos.

“The Magic Flute” is an exciting mixture of fantasy, love and the trials finding that special one. For those still timid about trying out a three-hour opera, Mozart is a good place to start. During intermission many of the audience members fondly shared that “The Magic Flute” was their first opera. It is a charming comic-drama sung in German that is easy to understand with English supertitles.

A quick overview is best for those unfamiliar with the wacky surprise-filled plot. The handsome prince Tamino is lost in a distant land with roaming beasts, dinosaurs and a large serpent. While Tamino is unconscious the serpent attacks him. Three magical servants for the Queen of Night save him by using their special wands to kill the jumbo-sized snake. They exit and Tamino awakens to meet an unusual bird catcher named Papageno.

The Queen of the Night appears giving Tamino a picture of her beautiful daughter Pamina. She is currently out of the picture having been recently captured by the Moorish slave Monostatos serving Saratro. The Queen offers her beautiful daughter’s hand in marriage if Tamino will save her. Poor Papageno is ordered to accompany Tamino on his wild and dangerous rescue-mission. The Queen disappears and her ladies give the prince a magic flute that changes men’s hearts. They give the fearful Papageno charmed bell chimes. They also have three child spirits who will advise them during their journey.

Papageno finds Pamina first and shares that the handsome prince is in love and plans to rescue her. Before finding each other Papageno and Tamino are captured by Monostatos and his slaves and the princess, prince and bird catcher face Sarastro. In Act II the council of priests lead by Sarastro decide that Tamino must pass a series of tests before he can marry Pamina. Tamino and the reluctant Papageno are lead to the courtyard of the temple of Ordeal. The Birdcatcher pleads and tries to fly away by sharing he does not care about enlightenment or wisdom.

Tamino remains steadfast in his love for Pamina and continues the trials. He passes his first test by ignoring tempting women and remaining silent. After more trials and a despondent Pamina who fears her prince is no longer in love with her, the child spirits help. She and Tamino enter the trial caverns together for their final test.

Part of the all-star cast is the Slovakian soprano L’ubica Vargicová as the Queen of Night.
She consistently wins acclaim for her bright toned coloratura and powerful acting skills. Her evil queen role is bad girl fun and it is impossible to take your eyes off of her. Bass Kevin J. Langan’s role as the speaker demands attention with his rich voice that goes lower than the pits that threatened Tamino and Papageno. The ending brings a smile especially after finding out what fate is in store for Papageno.

The Dallas Opera

Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House
2403 Flora Street, Suite 500
Dallas, TX 75201
Ticket Information

“The Magic Flute” Performances at the Winspear:

Sunday, April 22, 2012 
2:00 pm

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
 7:30 pm

Saturday, April 28, 2012
 7:30 pm

Friday, May 4, 2012
 7:30 pm

Sunday, May 6, 2012 
2:00 pm

Simulcast information

Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” will be simulcast live
Cowboys Stadium
One Legends Way
Arlington, Texas
Saturday, April 28, 2012 at
7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
Reserved seating is still available through the Dallas Opera website.
The April 28th performance is live from the Winspear Opera House and the simulcast will be viewed at Cowboys Stadium on the world's largest high-definition video board.

Remaining performances for the critically acclaimed “La traviata”

Friday, April 27, 2012
7:30 pm Sunday, April 29, 2012
2:00 pm

Dining in the AT&T Performing Arts District

Where is the Winspear Opera House?


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