Opera brings magic to OU stage



“Magic Flute” is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Romance, comedy and classical music will be combined in “The Magic Flute” by Oakland students studying opera.

The opera is directed by Drake Dantzler, a professor and opera program coordinator, and will be open to the public Jan. 12, 14 and 15. 

“‘The Magic Flute’ is one of the most famous and frequently performed operas of all time,” Dantzler said. “It’s written by musical and theatrical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The story follows a fairy tale theme: a prince must rescue a beautiful princess, aided by his comical sidekick. The princess’s mother is an evil queen in a bitter fight with a noble king. The story is fleshed out with incredible music and comic moments.”

Dantzler was drawn to direct this project because it stood out from other operas. 

“This musical form [Singspiel] combines operatic vocalism and orchestral music with spoken dialogue, somewhat like a modern audience would think of when they go to a Broadway musical,” Dantzler said. “Our students’ voices and personalities were particularly well-suited to this show.”

Dantzler showed an immense amount of respect for the students involved in the opera.

“Working with young performers is always a richly rewarding experience,” Dantzler said. “Finding and solving the unique problems of each set, dramatic moment and performer’s personality is akin to solving a puzzle. At first you might not be able to see the answer, but once you do, it’s both obvious and deeply gratifying.”

Experiences with the students in the music program is overwhelmingly positive, according to Dantzler. The faculty loves working with them and the people who come to the performances love hearing the students in concert.  

 “People I’m related to have been involved in concerts here,” said Linda Bacon, the mother of an OU alumna. “After hearing some of these students in person, I wouldn’t be shocked if a lot of them went on to be professional musicians in Broadway plays and so forth.” 

Bacon said that the students involved in the music program sing because they love to, and that the passion shows at performances. She encouraged others to go out and see for themselves with “The Magic Flute.”

“[‘The Magic Flute’] features a fable-like setting,” Dantzler said. “I hope the audience leaves the performance with a fond memory of the story and characters, a sense of the morality of the story and the remarkable tunes of Mozart bouncing around in their ears.”

The show is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12. The second performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 14, and the final show will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday Jan. 15. All will be held in the Varner Recital Hall. 

Tickets are available for purchase online at Star Tickets. They can also be purchased at the box office in Varner Hall. General admission is $20, but OU students may purchase tickets for $12. For more information on tickets, contact the box office at (248) 370-3013.