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May  05, 2011

Opera@Augustana presents Mozart’s 'Magic Flute'

Opera@Augustana will perform The Magic Flute on Friday, May 13, and Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m. in Wallenberg Hall at Denkmann Memorial Hall (3520 7th Ave.). Since the opera's premier in 1791, its expressive music and colorful characters have made it among the most popular operas in North America.

Mozart's Die Zauberfloete (The Magic Flute) was first performed in Vienna and tells a classic story of love threatened by evil. To make the opera engaging for all audiences, Augustana will perform a shortened version in English.

Dr. John Pfautz, director of The Magic Flute, founded Opera@Augustana in 1987 and has led the organization ever since. "This production is enjoying the talents and labors of a particularly talented and enthusiastic cast," he said. "I'm sure that audiences of all ages will be delighted with this classic operatic presentation that enriches our imagination and appreciation for the goodness of the arts."

Lisa Beggs, a junior music and communication sciences and disorders double major from Naperville, Ill., plays the villainous Queen of the Night. The opera gives an allegorical account of mankind's progression from chaos to rational enlightenment, and the Queen of the Night represents obscurity. "I've loved being in The Magic Flute because I love music," Beggs said. "But the opera also has a great plot. There are some very interesting meanings behind what happens onstage."

Pfautz has cut much of the dialogue and de-emphasized some of the outdated allusions to allow the opera to speak to contemporary audiences. "The music in this particular opera is effective in describing the various characters. Mozart's musical and theatrical genius shines when defining the characters not only by their text, but by the vocal lines and instrumental music association," he said.

Corbin McGhee, a junior neuroscience and biology double major from Geneva, Ill., who plays the prince Tamino, hopes the audience will enjoy the opera as much as he has enjoyed preparing for it. "The fact that I am a science major, yet I have a lead in the opera really displays the versatility of the Augustana experience. This is exactly the reason why I came here."

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $8 for children. For ticket information, call 309-794-7306 or go to


Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833