The Magic Flute – American Chamber Opera


Music by W. A. Mozartamerican chamber opera company

Libretto: Emanuel Schikaneder

Conductor: Steven Haschke

Stage Director: Thrisa Hodits

Produced by the American Chamber Opera Company

At the Chicago Temple Building

Well sung and beautifully played Mozart classic a worthy endeavor

The creative folks at the American Chamber Opera Company find a way to makes grand opera intimate, understandable without losing any of the charm and fluidity. They find young classically trained singers and musicians that respect the source material thereby enticing their audience to enter the world of opera. Presenting classical operas like Mozart’s The Magic Flute in English adds to that intimacy. They capture the essence of the whimsey, charm and beauty of Mozart’s genius  most effectively.

With a six person chamber orchestra, conducted by Steven Haschke, Mozart’s zesty and melodic score brilliantly comes to live.  Heather Johnson’s flute playing was nicely highlighted.

The cast of young classically trained singers combined their acting chops with mostly powerful and fluid vocal acumen.  I was especially impressed with Elyse Kakacek’s sparkling soprano voice. Nathan Oakesl’s sweet tenor and Marlena Dzis’ brilliant coloratura added depth to the production. Christoher Hatcher was terrific as the gentle  fool Pagageno.  Mary Lutz-Govertsen, Jori Jennings and Anne lerum produced fine harmonies as the Three Ladies.

This condensed two hour production works nicely as it combines an English translation of Schikaneder’s libretto with a chamber orchestra that produced  a charming sweet take on Mozart’s whimsical opera. This low budget production gets the main elements right; the music is lush and the vocals are effective. For a modest ticket price, the American Chamber Opera Company offers a worthy glimpse into the world of classical opera. Their productions are a fine way to introduce music lovers and newbie’s to the world of opera. Hurry there are only five more performances through August 18.


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2013

5 thoughts on “The Magic Flute – American Chamber Opera

  • Dear Mr. Tom Williams,

    Thank you so much for the wonderfully positive review of American Chamber Opera’s “The Magic Flute”. Your attendance was greatly appreciated and I am honored that you enjoyed the performance.
    Unfortunately, there were several artists who are misidentified. As artists, to receive a positive review is a great honor, and for many of these performers it is their first review as professional singers. It would be wonderful if those performers you witnessed were correctly identified in your review.

    The following misidentified artists are:
    Pamina, listed as Katy Compton: should be Elyse Kakacek
    Tamino, listed as Leslie Hill: should be Nathan Oakes
    Queen of the night, listed as Marlena Dzis: should be Holly Flack
    2nd lady, listed as Gretchen Adams: should be Jori Jennings
    3rd lady, listed as Bernadette Garza: should be Anne Lerum

    Holly Flack

  • Diane Flack

    My husband and I attended the Magic Flute Opera on August 9 and 10 as parents of the “Queen of the Night,” Holly Flack. Your review was fantastic, however, the names of the cast were incorrect. Please correct this as soon as possible because these young artists need and appreciate good reviews. Thanks so much. Diane Flack

  • Diane Flack

    Dear Mr. Williams, Obviously you don’t care if you have reviewed the wrong cast of an opera, entirely. It seems unlikely that any one who knows opera will give a hoot what you write if you don’t even care to correct your mistaken review. Sad to know a critic doesn’t even check his website or check with opera companies to see which cast is performing in an opera. Diane Flack

  • Sorry for misidentifying cast members BUT I was told my a staff member that the first name on the cast list was the actual performer on the night I reviewed. I have made the corrections.
    Tom Williams

  • Sorry for misidentifying cast members BUT I was told my a staff member that the first name on the cast list was the actual performer on the night I reviewed. I have made the corrections.
    Tom Williams

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