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New York City Opera presents UCSB’s Family-Friendly Production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute

May 3, 2022 - May 5, 2022

New York City Opera presents a family-friendly version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute at schools in Great Neck and New York, NY from May 3-5, 2022. This whimsical puppet production features singers from University of California, Santa Barbara’s Opera Theatre Program, dancers and actors from the UCSB Department of Theater and Dance, and puppets of all shapes and sizes. The performance is 75 minutes, sung in English, and is appropriate for all ages. For more information, visit www.nycopera.com.

The production will make the following stops:
May 3, 2022
Saddle Rock School
10 Hawthorne Lane, Great Neck, NY

May 4, 2022
John F. Kennedy School
1A Grassfield Rd. Great Neck, NY

May 5, 2022
Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts
100 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY

This new abridged version of The Magic Flute is arranged by Peter Tiefenbach for piano and seven singers, all of whom are double cast. The English-language translation of this non-traditional and family friendly opera is by Brent Krysa. Stage and Music Director, Dr. Bayrakdarian says about the production, “All the singers, chamber players, dancers, and puppeteers will perform from the stage, and each will tell the story using their own medium–their instruments, their voices, their bodies.”

This production is presented as part of New York City Opera’s City Opera Education programming. New York City Opera’s Opera for Kids! program is a popular series of hour-long, family-friendly adaptations of classic operas narrated by General Director Michael Capasso. These performances, followed by a Q&A with the cast, have given thousands of elementary and preschool-aged children their first taste of live opera. 

Music Director, Stage Director, Producer: Dr. Isabel Bayrakdarian; Choreography and Puppet Staging: Christina McCarthy; Puppet, Mask, and Costume Design: Christina McCarthy

Singers: April Amante, Olivia Barker, Ariana Horner, Marta Hovhannisyan, Valdis Jansons, Alvise Pascucci, Soohyun Ryu

Dancers/Puppeteers: Gwendolyn Austin, Milana Beck, Gianna Burright, Amanda Keller, Kwan Kuang, Allie Mikalatos, Daisy Mohrman, Rachyl Pines, Kelvin Yuen

About the Creative Team
Soprano Dr. Isabel Bayrakdarian (Stage and Music Direction) is a Professor of Voice in the UCSB Department of Music. She serves as the Area Head of the Voice Program and is the Director of Opera Theatre and Opera Outreach Program. Dr. Bayrakdarian has sung with all the major opera houses and premiere orchestras worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, Salzburg Festival, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, under the batons of eminent conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Her diverse repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the contemporary, including world premieres by William Bolcom and Jake Heggie, with Mozart being a specialty. She has recorded several critically acclaimed albums, including as the featured vocalist on the Grammy-award winning soundtrack of the blockbuster film The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers, and on the soundtrack of Atom Egoyan’s Ararat. She is the winner of four consecutive Juno Awards for Best Classical Album and has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, the George London Foundation Award, Canada Council’s Virginia Parker Prize, and the Republic of Armenia’s highest cultural award. Dr. Bayrakdarian appeared in the BBC-produced short film HOLOCAUST – a Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz, and in her Gemini nominated film Long Journey Home, documenting her first visit to her ancestral homeland Armenia.

Christina McCarthy (Choreography, Puppet Staging, Puppet/Mask/Costume Design) is a lecturer in the UCSB Department of Theater and Dance, a multi-disciplinary artist in dance, aerial circus arts, theater, puppetry, film, and visual art. McCarthy teaches contemporary dance technique, dance on film, choreography, solo performance generation, puppet making, and aerial dance. Her movement training background includes ballet with Lupe Serrano, Finis Jhung, Bob and Carol Hanlin, and Valerie Huston, modern training with Tonia Shimin, Alice Condodina, Nolan Dennet, and Christopher Pilafian, and aerial dance training with Ninette Paloma and Autumn Phillips. She danced with Nina Wiener Dance Company and was both a dancer and Assistant Director to Santa Barbara Dance Theater, as well as Vice-Chair of the Department of Theater and Dance. McCarthy has made site specific work for the new UCSB Library and for Arts Walk 2019. She has directed departmental dance concerts and choreographed multiple musical theater productions in the Santa Barbara community. Her puppet work has appeared in numerous films, and she was the featured artist at the Santa Barbara International Puppet Palooza Festival in 2018.

About New York City Opera
Since its founding in 1943 by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia as “The People’s Opera,” New York City Opera (NYCO) has been a critical part of the city’s cultural life. During its history, New York City Opera launched the careers of dozens of major artists and presented engaging productions of both mainstream and unusual operas alongside commissions and regional premieres. The result was a uniquely American opera company of international stature. For more than seven decades, New York City Opera has maintained a distinct identity, adhering to its unique mission: affordable ticket prices, a devotion to American works, English-language performances, the promotion of up-and-coming American singers, and seasons of accessible, vibrant and compelling productions intended to introduce new audiences to the art form. Stars who launched their careers at New York City Opera include Plácido Domingo, Catherine Malfitano, Sherrill Milnes, Samuel Ramey, Beverly Sills, Tatiana Troyanos, Carol Vaness, and Shirley Verrett, among dozens of other great artists. New York City Opera has a long history of inclusion and diversity. It was the first major opera company to feature African American singers in leading roles (Todd Duncan as Tonio in Pagliacci, 1945; Camilla Williams in the title role in Madama Butterfly, 1946); the first to produce a new work by an African-American composer (William Grant Still, Troubled Island, 1949); and the first to have an African-American conductor lead its orchestra (Everett Lee, 1955). A revitalized City Opera re-opened in January 2016 with Tosca, the opera that originally launched the company in 1944. Outstanding productions during the four years since then include: the world premieres of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s Stonewall, which NYCO commissioned and developed, legendary director Harold Prince’s new production of Bernstein’s Candide; Puccini’s beloved La Fanciulla del West; and the New York premiere of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas — the first in its Ópera en Español series. Subsequent Ópera en Español productions include the New York premiere of the world’s first mariachi opera, José “Pepe” Martinez’s Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, Literes’s Los Elementos, and Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires. In addition to the world premiere of Stonewall, the productions in NYCO’s Pride Initiative, which produces an LGBTQ-themed work each June during Pride Month, include the New York premiere of Péter Eötvös’s Angels in America and the American premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain. New York City Opera has presented such talents as Anna Caterina Antonacci and Aprile Millo in concert, as well as its own 75th Anniversary Concert in Bryant Park, one in a series of the many concerts and staged productions that it presents each year as part of the Park’s summer performance series. City Opera’s acclaimed summer series in Bryant Park brings free performances to thousands of New Yorkers and visitors every year. New York City Opera continues its legacy with main stage performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater and with revitalized outreach and education programs at venues throughout the city, designed to welcome and inspire a new generation of opera audiences. City Opera’s acclaimed summer series in Bryant Park brings free performances to thousands of New Yorkers and visitors every year.

New York City Opera: 
Instagram: @nycopera 
Twitter: @nycityopera


May 3, 2022
May 5, 2022