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