Opera Theatre Returns to Central Oregon with Mozart’s Magic Fantasy, The Magic Flute

For the first time in seven years a full length opera is being presented in Central Oregon by Central Oregonians March 13-15. Directed by former Obsidian Opera company member Nancy Engebretson and conducted by Michael Gesme, this production features 25 singing actors from Madras, Redmond and Bend. Three guest artists from Eugene and Portland will also perform.


This production is sung in English, translation by Ross Halper. Jason Stein is music director.

Most recently Gesme, Stein and Engebretson were the music team for Les Miserables at the Tower Theatre.

Meet The Sopranos of The Magic Flute!

Mozart’s fantasy ‘singspiel,’ includes both singing and speaking, like American music theatre, features numerous soprano roles that are both intriguing, challenging characters as well as showcase opportunities for female singers.  

The most well known, though not the biggest role, is the Queen of the Night and her high F’s arias. The vengeful, narcissistic mother of the princess, and nemesis of Sarastro, is performed by Cristine Keever, Madras. Mozart’s virtuosic vocal music is some of the most memorable in the entire ‘opera’.

Pamina, Mozart’s heroic princess, is sung by Kari Burgess, Portland. In addition to her Masters degree in vocal performance, she has studied in Graz, Austria and Verona, Italy. Most recently she performed at the Astoria Music Festival and for the Portland Summer Opera Workshop.


Jocelyn Claire Thomas, Portland, brings to the role of The First Lady a background of opera performances including Portland Summer Opera Workshop and Cascadia Opera plus extensive concert solo experience. She was the 2014 competition winner at NATS AA in Oregon and the Classical Singer District auditions. In 2015 she will appear with Bravo! Vancouver as soprano soloist in Elijah.

Local luminaries that Central Oregonians have come to know and love, and the roles they are singing, are Trish Sewell – Second Lady, Karen Sipes – Third Lady and Jimena Shepard as Papagena, the Birdcatcher’s ‘catch.’  The Three Spirits, playful and ethereal, are performed by Una Wagner, OperaBend Young Artist from Redmond plus Angela Alvarez and Lara Matheny of Bend.

Friday, March 13, 7 pm
Sunday, March 15, 3 pm Matinee
Pinckney Center for the Arts
Central Oregon Community College
Free Parking
Tickets: www.operabend.org

The Magic Flute is a timeless tale of the journey of a young man and his sidekick. Along the way he encounters the mean queen and her three cohorts, three helpful spirits, a temple full of priests and their high priest, a lovely girl and a vicious villain. Add some magic bells, flute, panpipe and you have the makings of a comedic fantasy complete with thunder, smoke and some of Mozart’s finest vocal composition. Running time is about 2 hours 15 minutes.

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