Mozart | The Magic Flute


World Premiere. New English Adaptation

October 4-13, 2013

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
World Premiere. New English Adaptation by Kelley Rourke, Leon Major and John Conklin
October 4, 6m, 9, 11, 13m, 2013 at the Citi Performing Arts CenterSM Shubert Theatre.
Opening Night performance at 8:00 p.m. All other evening performances at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees (m) at 3 p.m.

Mozart’s magical world is unearthed when a group of college students goes on an archeological trip to the Yucatan and one is bitten by a snake. Celebrating the depth and breadth of Boston’s artistic talent, BLO has assembled a cast and creative team with national and international credentials, and roots in the Boston arts community, including Andrew Garland, Meredith Hansen, and Zach Borichevsky. This new English language adaptation by former BLO Artistic Director Leon Major, Kelley Rourke and our own John Conklin showcases Mozart’s exuberant score. The October 4 world premiere will inaugurate The Opera Gala: A Season Opening Celebration.

Creative Team
Conductor David Angus
Stage Director Leon Major
Set Designer John Conklin
Costume Designer Nancy Leary
Lighting Designer Mark Stanley
Lyrics & Projected English Titles Kelley Rourke
Wigs & Makeup Designer Jason Allen

Tamino Zach Borichevsky
Pamina Deborah Selig*
Papageno Andrew Garland
Monostatos Neal Ferreira^
Queen of the Night So Young Park#
First Lady Meredith Hansen^
Second Lady Michelle Trainor#
Third Lady Nicole Rodin#
Sarastro David Cushing^
First Spirit Messenger David Kravitz
Second Spirit Messenger Omar Najmi*#
Third Spirit Messenger Isaac Bray*
First Boy Thomas Potts*+
Second Boy Timothy O’Brien*+
Third Boy Andrew Peruzzi*+
Papagena Chelsea Basler*#

*BLO debut 
#BLO Emerging Artist 
^BLO Emerging Artist Alumnus
+ Member of St. Paul Choir School, Cambridge, MA

BLO Orchestra
First Violin Piccolo
Sandra Kott, Concertmaster Iva Milch
Colin Davis
Sue Rabut Oboes
Natalie Favaloro Nancy Dimock, Principal
Gerald Mordis Lynda Jacquin
Pattison Story
Heidi Braun-Hill Clarinets/Basset Horns
Stacey Alden Jan Halloran, Principal
Steve Jackson
Second Violins
Annie Rabbat, Principal Bassoons
Jodi Hagen Donald Bravo, Principal
Lena Wong Elah Grandel
Robert Curtis
Cynthia Cummings Horns
Rohan Gregory Kevin Owen, Principal
Dirk Hillyer
Kenneth Stalberg, Principal Trumpets
David Feltner Bruce Hall, Principal
Donna Jerome Jesse Levine
Abigail Cross
Cellos Robert Couture, Principal
Loewi Lin, Principal Hans Bohn
Mark Simcox Donald Robinson
Jan Pfeiffer-Rios
Melanie Dyball Timpani
Jeffrey Fischer, Principal
Robert Lynam, Principal Keyboard
Barry Boettger James Myers
Iva Milch

BLO Chorus
Michelle Alexander, Chorusmaster
Sopranos Tenors
Katrina Holden Brendan Buckley
Eunhee Kang Chris Maher
Kathryn McKellar Thomas Osterling
Dana Schnitzer Fred VanNess
Jacquelyn Vina
Altos Jeremy Collier
Heather Gallagher Fred Furnari
Amy Oraftik Taylor Horner
Julia Snowden John Whittlesey
Amanda Tarver Ron Williams

BLO presents this season a new English adaptation of The Magic Flute by Leon Major, Kelley Rourke, and John Conklin. Quotations are from the sung text by Kelley Rourke.

“… we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us.  The labyrinth is thoroughly known […] We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, […] and where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence, and where we had though to be alone, we will be with all the world.”
- Joseph Campbell

Tommy, Pamela, Patrick, and Monty, four contemporary university students are on an archeological visit to the Mayan ruins. Tommy (Tamino) is bitten by a snake, and as the venom enters his veins, he begins to hallucinate—the power of his altered state draws his companions into his dream, and they are suddenly and violently swept up into the pyramid they have come to visit.

The time has come to walk the path
To seek the answer to the question
The night is wild, the way is steep.

They are caught up in a cosmic world where an epic battle between Day (Sarastro) and Night (the Queen) is being waged. The battle between Sarastro and the Queen is an unending struggle between the rational forces of order and control on the one hand, and the dark powers of chaos and the unconscious on the other.

Celestial combatants
Revolve in the heavens.
Can daylight contend with the night’s darkest questions?

This epic war compels our protagonists to deal with their own conflicts and desires. As they struggle their way through the mysterious labyrinth, they are constantly being confronted by dangerous temptations, strange and confounding metamorphoses, bizarre trials, ribald suggestions, droll encounters, monstrous serpents, and magical musical instruments. Their world is our world where we so often ignore that which disturbs us. But in dreams confrontations cannot be ignored.

Tommy (Tamino) and his companions meet figures that give them advice both good and bad. These forces try to dissuade them from reaching their goals. Tom is being forced to think, to consider, to question. He and the others are being invited, not always kindly, and sometimes wrenchingly, to examine their lives.

Each man must make his way alone
As contradictions streak the skies.
The cosmic battle rages on
Look within to find your light.

These events are being watched over by mysterious spirits, forces of stillness and wisdom. They demand our protagonists question their behavior and push all of them to examine their preconceptions. Our four visitors discover that faithful obedience can lead to tyranny, that dreams can become realities, that immoral behavior can never be justified and, of crucial importance, that men and women are equal and that the weaknesses and strengths of each, when combined, form a complete world that allows both the freedom to create. Only by uniting can they find a principled path. Slowly the spirit world reveals, through the power and understanding of music, that strength and harmony does lie within us all—that ours can be a world of balance and selflessness.

Do not be fooled by mere illusion
Examine reason and desire.
Both light and dark can cause confusion.
There’s danger in both fog and fire.

Our setting is also a mysterious “new world” where a new journey of self-discovery can be initiated. The Mayan world is rich in objects and architecture—temples and pyramids, golden masks, onyx vessels, crystal skulls, plumed serpents of turquoise and coral—that remain both boldly beautiful and tantalizingly mysterious to our contemporary sensibilities.

The sun peeks over the horizon,
The silver moon recedes,
Continuing the endless cycle of birth and death—
each one the next precedes.

Day is followed by Night and Night by Day and so on through all of time. Day eventually swallows up in the darkness of the Night just as the light of Day eventually conquers the power of darkness. We need both—order can control the deadly violence of chaos, but too much order can suppress the creative and vital instincts of the unconscious. Clarity is desirable, but so is mystery.

The play of elements is never ending –
Eternally dividing, merging, blending
The man who seeks that path that threads between extremes
Will thus achieve a life of harmony.

Click here to read more about The Magic Flute!