Early Music Festival Program No. 2


4 stars -- Basile

Opera Center, April 16-18

Sterling vocal

qualities coupled with excellent acting and inspired staging makes this Butler

University Lyric Theatre production of The Magic Flute a memorable arts event of the season. Presented

in the former chapel of a Greek Orthodox Church (renamed the Basile Opera

Center), and using the architectural qualities of the space, Mary Anne Scott,

artistic/stage director, and Rebecca Edie, musical director/piano accompanist,

prove a company of exuberant, talented performers can bring Mozart's opera to

life without elaborate sets. Acoustically friendly to young speaking and

singing voices, the space allowed the audience to grasp every word of the fine

English translation by Andrew Porter without the distraction of supra-titles.

Emphasizing inter-relationships, this production made what might be considered

a fairy tale with a happy ending quite real. Clearly, as Michael Sells points

out in his Program Notes, Mozart meant what turned out to be his final opera to

be both accessible and meaningful with an emphasis on the best qualities of the

late18th-to early 19th centuries Enlightenment--humanity,

love over adversity, pursuit of knowledge, freedom of expression, good works

and social justice.


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