By George B. Parous
For the first time in nearly two years, Pittsburgh Opera returns to the Benedum Center this Saturday evening, November 6, for the first of four performances of Mozart’s phantasmagorical The Magic Flute. The company did a marvelous job with the smaller scaled productions it managed to give last season, but it will be a genuine treat to return to the grandeur of the Benedum. A treat to hear the full orchestra again under Antony Walker. A treat to hear the fine chorus under Mark Trawka; that wonderful group kept silent for too long. And a better choice than The Magic Flute to make the return to all this magic even more magical can scarcely be imagined.
The large cast will include newcomers to Pittsburgh Opera, returning vocalists, and a few Resident Artists, present and past. A memorable member of the last group is soprano Adelaide Boedecker, who will sing the role of Pamina. I remember her well from her Resident Artist days, especially for her performances of Beth in Mark Adamo’s Little Women and Alice B. Toklas in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Twenty-Seven. Ms. Boedecker recently found some time to share a few thoughts with us on the upcoming production of The Magic Flute.
“It’s going to be a beautiful show. Dan Rigazzi knows how to direct wonderful productions. People should look forward to hearing some phenomenal singing, telling a phenomenal story. And such an amazing orchestra. Antony brings out so many cool colors and different facets of the music. He really brings Mozart to life.”
“And I’m really excited to bring Pamina to life,” she said of her role in the opera. “I love Dan’s whole idea about how he’s going to make this production work and the way it’s ushering in the new age of enlightenment where women and men are equals. Pamina is a very strong character. She has gone through a lot. She’s been kidnapped. She’s lost her dad. A man tries to rape her. She’s a survivor, so I’m excited to portray a strong female character. She’s got facets and her emotions, and she is a very truthful person. So everything she feels, she really puts it right out there for everyone to see. I love that. She has a very good arc, a very good character arc.”
“It’s much like a classic fairy tale,” Ms. Boedecker shared on the 200-plus years’ performance endurance of The Magic Flute. “You’ve got bad guys and good guys. It is a pure, true love story, which people can identify with, and it’s great storytelling. There are great interactions with all the characters. But it also has very real human emotions and real characters with which people can identify. And the music is ageless.”
“It felt like a homecoming,” she said of her return to Pittsburgh Opera for the first time in five years. “It was immediately welcoming. I grew and learned so much here. It’s like when you see old friends, your dear friends, because you fall right back into a conversation like no time has passed. That’s exactly what happened. It was a homecoming, for sure.”
We’re as pleased to have Ms. Boedecker – and Pittsburgh Opera – back as they are to be back!
For full production details, COVID Protocols, TICKETS, and more, visit Pittsburgh Opera.
Special thanks to Christian D. Cox, Director of Marketing and Communications, Pittsburgh Opera
David Bachman Photography for Pittsburgh Opera
Categories: Show Previews