Southern Opera and Music Theater at The University of Southern Mississippi
will present an adaptation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The
Magic Flute" Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 at the Mannoni Performing Arts
Center auditorium in Hattiesburg and Feb. 6 at the Advanced Education
Center on the Gulf Coast campus in Long Beach.
The first of
two operas to be presented at Southern Miss during the spring semester,
the production is under the direction of stage director Dr. Maryann
Kyle and musical director Pablo Saelzer.
Being an adaptation,
the production will use narration rather than the normal spoken
dialogue of most operas.
narration rather than dialogue is a trend in opera that started
with Piccola Opera in New York," Kyle said. "The company
presents many children's adaptations of famous operas and uses narration
to bring the story to life."
A lyric drama
with a mystic twist, "The Magic Flute" embodies the concept
of good versus evil in a rather complicated story. The musical numbers
have been called romantic, dramatic, and just short of blessed.
There is even an embrace of the melodic elements of folk.
of 'Flute' was originally conceived as a children's show,"
Kyle explained. "We have an hour version for children's shows,
and the evening shows are about two hours in length with narration."
will tour the children's version at Starkville and Columbus, thanks
to the Columbus Arts Council. Kyle said she expects the show to
perform for more than 5,000 children in two days before returning
to Hattiesburg for performances on campus.
the show on the road is an important outreach component for our
opera program," Kyle said. "Children are very open to
opera-more than I ever expected. We first send out advanced educational
packets about the production to the schools or area we plan to visit.
Then, once they actually see the production, they are enthralled
by the sights, sounds, and storyline."
Miss production has been suited to travel. Its sets are lightweight
and portable. Instead of building large structures that are difficult
to move, Kyle and the set designers use "a lot of fabrics and
lighting to create the big effect."
as a voice professor in the School of Music, the most exciting aspect
of this production is our large ensemble of singers," Kyle
stated. "Because we have so many talented singers here at Southern
Miss, we were able to double the cast for this production, giving
us a cast of over 40 singers. Some will be in the chorus, some as
Lead cast members
include Richard Sawyer of Ocean Springs and Byron Johnson of Jamaica
as Tamino; Nikki Melvin of Petal and Alice Wright of Mobile, Ala.,
as Pamina; Matthew Green of Fort Worth, Texas, and Allin Kimbrough
of Meadville as Sarastro; and Emily Hindrichs of New Orleans and
Anna Stevens of Columbia as the (evil) Queen of the Night.
and Music Theater plans to continue offering yearly children's shows
in addition to their normal performances on campus. Their next production,
"Into the Woods," will be performed for Hattiesburg area
school children in April 2004 and will run on campus April 16-18.
Also, this particular production will be a collaborative effort
with William Carey College in Hattiesburg.
The Jan. 30
show begins at 7:30 p.m., the Feb. 1 matinee at 2:30 p.m., and the
Feb. 6 production on the Gulf Coast campus at 7:30 p.m. Tickets
are $10 for adult general admission and $5 for students and children
under 12. For tickets, call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601)
266-5418 or 800-844-8425, or order online at www.usm.edu/tickets.
For more information, call Kyle at (601) 266-6059.