Simpson Productions prepare first opera of the year


Photo by Coby Berg

by Alyssa Craven, Feature Editor

Simpson Productions will be putting on its first opera of the year, “The Magic Flute,” on Nov. 15 through the 17th.

Jennifer Nostrala is directing the production. Nostrala has directed other Simpson shows such as “Carousel” and “Kiss Me Kate” but this will be her first time directing an opera.

“We started conceptualizing the production back in the spring semester,” said Bernard McDonald, the conductor in Magic Flute.

“The Magic Flute” is a fairy tale opera written by Mozart in the 18th century during the age of enlightenment.

Michael Ciesielski states in a press release that, “‘The Magic Flute’ tells the story of Tamino, a prince who must undergo a series of tests, accompanied by his goofy sidekick Papageno, in order to marry the princess Pamina. Guided by the Queen of the Night, they both make their way to the temple of Sarastro, where Pamina is being held captive.”

According to McDonald, auditions took place the first week of classes and students were immediately cast into their roles.

Students have been rehearsing two to three hours a week during the weekdays. Students also sometimes have rehearsals on weekends as well.

Graham Brooks, a senior playing Prince Tamino in the show, said, “It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun work.”

Students have also been working hard on designing props and sets for the production.

“Jocelyn Smith is doing the prop design,” Nostrala said. “What we’re looking to do is creating [the magic flute] so it lights up. We are also putting some puppets in the play.”

Some of the puppets the production is planning on using are birds made out of kites and a dragon. According to Nostrala, the dragon will take 18 people to operate.

The opera will also be putting the music on stage.

 “We have a chamber orchestra of 11 players that will be on stage rather than in an orchestra pit,” McDonald said. “They will be built into the scenery.”

According to Nostrala, McDonald was the one who suggested performing “The Magic Flute.”

“It appeals to everyone,” McDonald said. “It’s got a universal appeal. That’s why it’s never gone out of fashion.”

The performance will be taking place in Pote Theatre at the Blank Performing Arts Center. Shows will be on Nov. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and on Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults to attend and $17.50 for middle and high school students. Tickets are free for Simpson students as long as they have their ID.

In order to get tickets, students can go to the box office or reserve a ticket at the table in Kent.