Mozart’s The Magic Flute is the second production in the Met Opera’s 87th season of Saturday matinee radio broadcasts. It airs on Classical KDFC on December 9 for listeners in the Bay Area. This series of broadcasts, live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, was launched in 1931, making it the longest-running continuous classical radio series in American broadcast history.
The Met’s English-language family version of Mozart’s whimsical masterpiece is one of New York City’s holiday traditions, and this version by Julie Taymor once again features Nathan Gunn, “the sensational baritone … with intense charisma and a voice like honey …” (The Mercury News) as the bird-catcher Papageno. Mr Gunn has appeared with some of the world’s finest opera companies – the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and also in opera houses such as Theater an der Wien, Teatro Real in Madrid and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.
The role of Pamina is sung by German soprano Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, who – as Eurydice in Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice at the Kammeroper Rheinsberg – “…. outclassed everyone else in stage presence”, wrote Opernglas. “With her clear, yet expressive soprano, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller created the most touching moments of the evening.”
American soprano Kathryn Lewek is the Queen of the Night, a role in which she made her Met debut in 2013. Ms Lewek – described by Berlin Zeitung as “ not only virtuosic, but fabulous” – also appeared in this, her world renowned signature role, in the Met Opera’s Live in HD broadcast of Die Zauberflöte this past October.
The role of Tamino is sung by Charles Castronovo, regarded as one of the finest lyric tenors of his generation, who has appeared in many of the leading opera houses of the world – the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Paris Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Munich and Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, Brussels. Mr Castronovo also sang this role in the Met Opera’s recent Live in HD broadcast of Die Zauberflöte.
Bass-baritone Alfred Walker – praised by Opera News for his “inky bass-baritone and clear projection …..” – sings the role of the Speaker. He recently appeared as Orest in San Francisco Opera’s magnificent production of Elektra, and also sings Titurel in Parsifal for the Metropolitan Opera this season.
German bass Tobias Kehrer sings Sarastro, a role in which he made his Met Opera debut in Die Zauberflöte in September this year.
Leading the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this production of The Magic Flute is American conductor Evan Rogister, who – according to Svenska Dagbladet – “fired up the stage and orchestra pit; both were bursting with life” in Opera Malmö’s production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.
The Metropolitan Opera’s production of The Magic Flute is broadcast on the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network, and can be heard on KDFC, the Bay Area’s Classical Radio Station, at 10.00 am on Saturday, December 9.
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