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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
With a riot of color onstage, Washington National Opera's presentation of "The Magic Flute" could not be more visually animated if it tried. There's a good deal to entertain the ears as well. This co-production with four other companies is, above all, a showcase for Japanese-born, Omaha-based artist Jun Kaneko. His set and costume design, a kind of pop art/classic Asian fusion, gives Mozart's opera a fresh flash of fantasy, not to mention whimsy. If there are times when the stylized look seems arbitrary (many of the projections suggest a digital Etch A Sketch)
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
With a riot of color onstage, Washington National Opera's presentation of "The Magic Flute" could not be more visually animated if it tried. There's a good deal to entertain the ears as well. This co-production with four other companies is, above all, a showcase for Japanese-born, Omaha-based artist Jun Kaneko. His set and costume design, a kind of pop art/classic Asian fusion, gives Mozart's opera a fresh flash of fantasy, not to mention whimsy. If there are times when the stylized look seems arbitrary (many of the projections suggest a digital Etch A Sketch)
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | April 27, 1992
The gods Isis and Osiris must be have been looking down with favor at the Baltimore Opera Company. Those two Egyptian deities are the presiding spirits of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and they may have transformed on Saturday evening what was -- on the surface of things -- not promising into what was charming.This threatened to be a hodgepodge of a production. The scenery -- full of great stalagmites and stalactites -- was from a production in Portland, Ore. The costumes -- straightforward and elegant Age of Reason powdered wigs and doublets and hose -- were from a Jean Pierre Ponnelle production in Salzburg.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2011
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's infrequent presentations of opera-in-concert over the past decade have included a repertoire well off the beaten path — Tchaikovsky's "Iolanta" in 2000 and Bartok's "Bluebeard's Castle" in 2005. This weekend, the focus is very familiar, very popular fare: Mozart's "The Magic Flute. " "It is the first opera I ever heard when I was a kid," said BSO music director Marin Alsop. "My dad told me the story and all about the secret codes, how the number 3 is important.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | November 21, 1992
The idea of the subtext -- the notion that there is a set of meanings implied rather than explicitly stated in a literary or dramatic work -- represents depths from which the sirens sing to the best-intentioned directors and critics.Count Roger Brunyate, the brilliant director of Peabody's Opera Theatre, as their most recent victim. His production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," which opened Thursday in Friedberg Hall, is filled with so many brilliant ideas that it sinks beneath the weight of its insights.
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By Robert Haskins and Robert Haskins,Contributing Writer | May 20, 1993
The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and its music director Anne Harrigan, concluded its 10th anniversary season in superb fashion with a concert last night before a sellout crowd in Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium.In the past decade, Ms. Harrigan has refined this group to an extremely high level. Occasionally, the quality of musical expression is so refined that it fails to "read" well in a hall as large as Kraushaar. But an overabundance of subtlety also shows that these musicians have taste -- which can't be taught -- and the caliber of musicianship necessary to take them to even greater triumphs.
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By Ernest F. Imhoff and Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff | February 13, 1991
THE BALTIMORE Opera Company will perform Verdi's "Don Carlo," Donizetti's "The Daughter of the Regiment" and Mozart's "The Magic Flute" next season, it told its subscribers in mailings this week.''Don Carlo,'' with James Morris singing King Philip and Kristjan Johannsson as Don Carlo, is scheduled Oct. 19, 23, 25 and 27. The Daughter of the Regiment,'' in French with Nova Thomas, is March 21, 25, 27 and 29, 1992. ''The Magic Flute,'' with Carroll Freeman and Kay Paschal, is set for April 25,29, May 1 and May 3, 1992.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | April 23, 1992
The upcoming Baltimore Opera Company production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" will be filled with images of birth and of dreams.The theme of the opera is the triumph of light over the powers of darkness, says Bijan Ahsef-Jah, who has staged this production. He adds that he takes that basic theme to mean the opera is about "being born" or about "waking from the dream state.""Mozart was, of course, a Freemason, and the Masons believe that you are not really born until you've seen the light," says the Iranian-born director, who startlingly resembles in looks, voice and manner the wide-eyed, off-the-wall, insouciantly insinuating character Latka Gravas that Andy Kaufman created on TV's "Taxi."
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By Stephen Wigler | November 15, 1992
There are more than 20 available recordings of Mozart's "The Magic Flute."If you want nearly all the spoken dialogue, you won't go wrong with the James Levine-conducted recording on an RCA mid-priced set. Levine's pacing is intelligent and detailed, and the principals are all more than adequate with a particularly fine Sarastro by Martti Talvela.The budget-priced Karl Boehm set on DG is well-cast -- with Fritz Wunderlich's heartbreakingly lyrical Tamino and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's witty Papageno -- and conducted with affectionate, if leisurely tempos.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | April 27, 1992
The gods Isis and Osiris must be have been looking down with favor at the Baltimore Opera Company. Those two Egyptian deities are the presiding spirits of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and they may have transformed on Saturday evening what was -- on the surface of things -- not promising into what was charming.This threatened to be a hodgepodge of a production. The scenery -- full of great stalagmites and stalactites -- was from a production in Portland, Ore. The costumes -- straightforward and elegant Age of Reason powdered wigs and doublets and hose -- were from a Jean Pierre Ponnelle production in Salzburg.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | May 9, 2010
Typically, when the character of Papageno the bird-catcher makes his entrance in Mozart's beloved opera "The Magic Flute," he's carrying a cage and, often, sporting a few feathers himself. When he appears in Opera Vivente's new production of the work, Papageno's most avian feature will be the word on his shirt — "Orioles." And don't be surprised if he's hoisting a Natty Boh. This isn't your father's "Magic Flute," hon. During the company's 12 seasons, John Bowen, founding general director of Opera Vivente, has frequently spiced and updated familiar works, which are always performed in English.
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January 24, 2010
Candlelight Concerts presents this musical performance by the Peabody Opera Outreach, based on Mozart's "Magic Flute," at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. today at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 410-997-2324 or go to candlelightconcerts.org.
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By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2009
In its English offering this week of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," Opera AACC calls upon the talents of Anne Arundel Community College faculty members, Maryland-based singers and 15 students from county elementary, middle and high schools. The shows, including today's at 3 p.m., will be presented at AACC's Pascal Center for the Performing Arts. James Harp, the artistic administrator of the Baltimore Opera, is the stage director of AACC's production, and Anna Binneweg, AACC's music director, is music director and conductor.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | March 15, 2008
What with certain goings-on in certain places -- I don't know, like maybe, um, New York? -- it's an unusually good week to be reminded about the virtues of steadfastness, tolerance and discretion, not to mention nobility, sincerity and purity. They all fuel Mozart's eternally endearing opera, The Magic Flute, currently playing to packed houses at the Peabody Conservatory. Thursday's cast, which performs tonight at a sold-out show, enjoyed a sprightly romp through the tuneful mix of fantasy and fable.
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By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to the Sun | November 9, 2007
Annapolis Opera celebrated its 35th anniversary last week with a program of arias from many of the productions it has presented over the years. In 1972, Martha Wright, the company's first president, decided with a small group that Annapolis should have its own opera company. She returned for "Bravo 35" on Oct. 27 to accept the good wishes and proclamations of the city of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Congratulations, wine-sipping and hors d'oeuvres-sampling preceded the main event at the Unitarian Universalist Church, a concert featuring four fine singers who are audience favorites and rising young stars, all under the direction of Annapolis Opera artistic director Ronald J. Gretz.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Reporter | April 20, 2007
The 2007 Towson University Student Media Arts Festival, a showcase for student-created films, begins Monday with screenings of documentaries and experimental films, plus those centering on dance, in the auditorium of Van Bokkelen Hall on the TU campus, 8000 York Road. On Thursday, the emphasis will be on TV shows, news, public service announcements and commercials, plus corporate and music videos. More screenings are set for April 27 and April 30, with a reprise showing of the best works set for May 5. All film programs begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
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By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 23, 2002
The Baltimore Opera performed Die Zauberflote ("The Magic Flute") in December, but I was reluctant to risk $85 on a ticket for my 10-year-old granddaughter. Given the option, Marie might decide to leave at intermission. But at $5 a ticket, the Annapolis Opera Company-sponsored children's version of the Mozart classic was a gamble worthy of taking. As it turned out, Marie chose to stay for the entire show - and even told her friends she'd enjoyed the experience. Every season, the Annapolis Opera Company sponsors operas by Peabody Conservatory's Roundabout Theater that are designed to introduce children to the world of opera.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | April 23, 1992
The upcoming Baltimore Opera Company production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" will be filled with images of birth and of dreams.The theme of the opera is the triumph of light over the powers of darkness, says Bijan Ahsef-Jah, who has staged this production. He adds that he takes that basic theme to mean the opera is about "being born" or about "waking from the dream state.""Mozart was, of course, a Freemason, and the Masons believe that you are not really born until you've seen the light," says the Iranian-born director, who startlingly resembles in looks, voice and manner the wide-eyed, off-the-wall, insouciantly insinuating character Latka Gravas that Andy Kaufman created on TV's "Taxi."
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | February 25, 2007
"It sounds so corny," Marina Piccinini says, before explaining how she ended up where she is today. "My father took me to see The Magic Flute." She was all of 7 when she discovered that Mozart opera and the instrument that plays a pivotal role in it. Now recognized as one of the world's most eminent flutists, Piccinini makes her own magic. MARINA PICCININI -- Flutist and friends perform at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Tuesday -- Peabody Institute, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place -- $8-$18 -- 410-659-8100, ext. 2
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | January 9, 2007
Playing at a multiplex more or less near you: monarchs, scoundrels, illicit lovers and the occasional fighter. And every one of them is singing. Welcome to opera in the 21st century, which you can now enjoy while munching from vats of buttered popcorn and slurping oversized soft drinks. For 75 years, the Metropolitan Opera has extended its reach with live radio broadcasts of Saturday-afternoon performances. Late last month, the company went a giant step further by introducing high-definition, surround-sound satellite simulcasts of select matinees to movie houses throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and, by delayed transmission, Japan.
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