Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Atlanta Opera Closes its 30th Anniversary Season with a New Production of The Magic Flute

Star-Studded Cast Includes Metropolitan Opera Stars Nicole Cabell, Sean Panikkar and Kathleen Kim

The Atlanta Opera closes its 30th anniversary season with a new production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s last opera, The Magic Flute, which opens on Saturday, April 24, at 8 p.m. Other performances will be on Tuesday, April 27; Friday, April 30; and Sunday, May 2. The Magic Flute follows the story of Tamino, an Egyptian prince, in his journey to find Pamina, the Queen’s daughter, and rescue her from the sorcerer Sarastro. Armed with only a golden flute for protection, he must face trials of fire and water to prove his worth and win her heart in the end. Soprano Nicole Cabell, winner of the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, will sing the role of Pamina, and bel canto tenor Sean Panikkar will perform as the prince Tamino. Audience favorite Hugh Russell will return as Papageno after his success as Dandini in the Atlanta Opera’s production of Cinderella in 2008. Israeli bass Denis Sedov sings Sarastro, and Korean-American coloratura soprano Kathleen Kim will sing the notoriously difficult role of the Queen of the Night. Returning as conductor will be Arthur Fagen, who conducted Akhnaten and The Flying Dutchman during the 2008-2009 season. A new coproduction with Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music, the specially designed set by C. David Higgins utilizes light-up symbols on children’s toy blocks, puppets and imaginary animals to convey a world of fantasy appealing to adults and children. The set plays a major role in conveying the story to the audience with its raised curtain, allowing the audience to see every set change and experience the magic of each transformation. The opera will be sung in German with English supertitles. Spoken dialogue will be in English.


Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder

Sung in German with English Supertitles. Spoken dialogue in English.

New Production

Previous Atlanta Opera Performance: 2003

Approximate Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes with 1 intermission
Four Performances at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 8 pm

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 8 pm

Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 3 pm

Creative Team

Conductor Arthur Fagen

Stage Director Tomer Zvulun

Set Designer C. David Higgins*

Costume Designer C. David Higgins*

Lighting Designer Marie Barrett*


Tamino Sean Panikkar*

Pamina Nicole Cabell*

Papageno Hugh Russell

Sarastro Denis Sedov*

Queen of the Night Kathleen Kim*

Speaker Jason Hardy

Papagena Rebecca Kier

Monostatos Adam Kirkpatrick

1st Lady Amy Little

2nd Lady Maria McDaniel

3rd Lady Pamela Dillard


An enchanting journey of love and self-discovery, the prince Tamino and princess Pamina pass through several trials to find each other. Fantastic characters, an evil Queen (with some very high notes) and incredible music make The Magic Flute a family favorite.

New Production Concept

David Higgins’ design is a set, made of children’s toy blocks with fantastical light-up symbols on each piece. Additional elements seamlessly present the various locations of the opera: a colorful, enchanted garden suddenly appears; a huge snake chases the hero outside the ruins of a castle; three boys suspended by balloons appear from an opening in the wall; lightning bolts shatter the back wall and allow the Queen of the Night to magically appear. The set plays a key role in the story-telling of the opera: all scene changes take place with a raised curtain, allowing the audience to watch as the scenery magically transforms.

Inspired by the paintings of Maxfield Parrish, the world of The Magic Flute is one of innocent fairy tales and colorful children’s books. The production also includes extensive use of different puppets and imaginary animals: a giraffe and an oryx suddenly appear over the hedge; a cheetah, a porcupine and a bear dance to the tunes of the enchanted flute; flamingos and parrots are chased by Papageno (the bird catcher) and a huge red snake with fiery eyes envelops the set. The entire production is designed to create a vibrant world of surprise and fantasy that will instantly appeal to children and adults alike.


Single Tickets

$25 -$125 plus tax, convenience and venue fees

Online -- Visit

By Phone -- Call 404-881-8885 or 1-800-35-OPERA

In-person – Visit the Bank of North Georgia Box Office at the Cobb Energy Centre (Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; and one hour prior to a performance on day of show).

Season Tickets

Season tickets to The Atlanta Opera’s 2010-2011 season at the Cobb Energy Centre are now available. Ticket prices for a three-opera package including La bohème, Porgy and Bess, and Così fan tutte range from $75 to $459 plus handling.

Online -- Visit

By Phone -- Call 404-881-8885 or 1-800-35-OPERA

In-person – Visit The Atlanta Opera Center at 1575 Northside Drive NW, Building 300, Suite 350 (Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.).


Opera 101

A class devoted to The Magic Flute will be held on Monday, April 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m. at The Atlanta Opera Center, 1575 Northside Drive. Led by long-time opera connoisseur and Honorary Board Member Carter Joseph, Opera 101 is a prep course for the upcoming production. Patrons are introduced to a history, background and story line of the opera. The composer, librettist, key characters, musical theme and selected arias are featured in an entertaining and interesting multi-media presentation. Opera 101 is educational and fun! Free but reservations are required – 404-881-8801.

Pre-Opera Talks

Free, fun and informative, Pre-Opera Talks occur one hour prior to each performance in the John A. Williams Theatre at the Cobb Energy Centre. Pre-Opera Talks help patrons gain better understanding of the upcoming production through a brief presentation about the setting, plot, characters, composer and music. Reservations are not required and seating is unreserved. Patrons must have a ticket for the specific performance that follows.

Opera Guide

Download a complete study guide for The Magic Flute at


For a synopsis of The Magic Flute, please visit

Evening at Emory -- Mozart’s Final Year and The Magic Flute

At the start of 1791 Mozart was out of favor and neglected, but by the end of the year he was back in a big way with more work than even he could handle. During this course, veteran opera instructor Carter Joseph will lead participants through the last year of the famous composer’s life. Mozart was astonishingly productive during this time, completing two operas, his final piano concerto, and famous Requiem Mass among other works. Tuition includes performance ticket to The Atlanta Opera’s new production of The Magic Flute.

Instructor: Carter Joseph, founder of “Opera 101”

Class Dates: Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Performance)

Fee: $160

For more information or to register, email or call 404-727-6000.

Master Class with Conductor Arthur Fagen

Conductor Arthur Fagen leads a master class on Monday, April 26 at 3:00 p.m. in the Florence Kopleff Recital Hall at Georgia State University, 10 Peachtree Center Avenue. Free. For more information, call 404-413-5901 or visit

Atlanta Opera Sponsors

AT&T is the Atlanta Opera’s Season Sponsor. The Atlanta Opera is proud to recognize its other corporate partners: The Coca-Cola Company, the Official Beverage Sponsor of The Atlanta Opera and Opening Night Performance Sponsor and Zurich, the Official Insurance Sponsor of The Atlanta Opera. Generous production support also has been provided by Dr. and Mrs. James W. Bland, Bob and Cappa Woodward, the Sara Giles Moore Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Knobloch, Jr., Martha Thompson, the Atlanta Music Festival Association, Mrs. Harry Willson and Ms. Barbara D. Stewart.

About The Atlanta Opera

Founded in 1979, The Atlanta Opera is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary season. Led by Zurich General Director Dennis Hanthorn, The Atlanta Opera strives to expand the experience of its patrons with memorable and exciting opera performances reflecting the highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs. The company also works to attract the finest international, national, and regional singers, conductors, stage directors and designers. Each season The Atlanta Opera presents four productions with four performances each at the Cobb Energy Centre.

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