The Magic Flute is a favourite of opera lovers and can be seen in Creston at 7 p.m. Feb. 27. With intrigue, magic, and false accusations countered by eternal truths, the story concludes with the triumph of good over evil. Combined with the music of Mozart, what more can we ask? But there is an added bonus: The DVD is a recording of the Metropolitan Opera production starring Kathleen Battle.
Battle is the winner of five Grammy awards. She was the quintessential opera diva and her demands were legendary. Following her performance with the San Francisco Opera in 1994 the stage crew wore T-shirts proudly announcing, “I Survived the Battle”. After the abrupt cancellation of her contract with the Met in 1994, Battle concentrated on operatic recordings. She also had a large repertoire of spirituals and pop music.
In The Magic Flute, Battle sings the role of Pamina, who is in love with Prince Pamino, performed by Francisco Araiza. Manfred Hemm is Papageno the Birdman, and Barbara Kilduff performs Papagena, the flirty old lady who is transformed to youthful beauty and a worthy partner for the love staved Papageno. Sarestro is sung by Kurt Moll and Luciana Sarestro is Queen of the Night.
Current prices for a single opera performance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver range from $50-$165. We’re pretty fortunate here in Creston: No charge at the Creston Valley Public Library, excellent viewing, no parking problems and no traffic jams along the way!
—BY JULIE EWASHEN