The Magic Flute, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, first premiered in Vienna in 1791. A comic tale of love buffeted by the forces of good and evil, the opera is a singspiel, including both spoken dialogue and song.
For the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production, artist and ceramicist Jun Kaneko, based in Omaha, Neb., designed the fanciful set design and costumes.
Tamino, played by Shawn Mathey, is a handsome prince lost in a faraway land. He's approached by the Queen of the Night, played by Kathryn Lewek, whose daughter Pamina has been kidnapped. The Queen promises Pamina as Tamino's wife if he can rescue her from the evil sorcerer, Sarastro.
Tamino and his companion Papageno, played by Daniel Belcher, set off to save the fair maiden. To aid them on their quest, the Queen of the Night gives Tamino a magic flute that will turn sorrow into joy; Papageno receives a set of magic bells that will bring happiness to all who hear them.
But, there's another side to the story.
The sorcerer Sarastro, played by Jeffrey Beruan, declares he has not kidnapped Pamina. Instead, he says, he's protecting her from her mother's influence. And Sarastro determines that both Tamino and Papageno must be subjected to trials of wisdom to test their worthiness as husbands.
The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents The Magic Flute, sung in English with German subtitles, November 9 - 17, 2013, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri. 816-931-2232.