Department opera channels Mozart

Combining a showcase of talented music students and an educational opportunity for children is the Murray State music department’s adaption of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”.

The department is presenting a children’s adaption of the popular Mozart opera this weekend.

The idea for the show was first performed by the Nashville Opera for their educational outreach program.

Grace Lauzon, senior from Owensboro, Ky., plays Pamina and first Lady for both casts in the production.

She auditioned for the show because she said she loves working with the students in the department and loves Mozart and “The Magic Flute.”

“I’ve always loved the stage; I’ve always loved performing,” she said. “And when I heard that this was going to be a children’s theater kind of thing, I got really excited because I love kids and I knew it would be a really neat adaption for young audiences.”

The opera tells the story of Prince Tamino’s journey to rescue Princess Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night, who has been kidnapped by the high priest, Sarastro. Along the way, he is helped by the queen’s three ladies-in-waiting and her birdcatcher, Papageno.

Christopher Mitchell, associate professor of music, is the director of the 50-minute production.

“People of all ages will enjoy this production,” Mitchell said in a press release. “We are performing an adaptation that was created by Nashville Opera for their educational outreach program, so it is family-friendly and very entertaining.”

The show is double cast with junior Aaron Jones and senior Daniel Milam as Tamino, senior Grace Lauzon as both Pamina and first Lady, senior Michael Martin and sophomore Lane Northcutt as Papageno and Sarastro, sophomore Paige Middleton and freshman Gabrielle Wibbenmeyer as Papagena and second Lady, and seniors Madeline Hart and Lauren Kapfhammer as Queen of the Night and third Lady.

Middleton, said she is excited to be a part of the production and gets to play two characters that are very different from what she has played in shows in the past.

“Papagena, she’s really bouncy and bubbly and she gets to be in love and I’ve never gotten to be in love with a character so it’s kind of fun to do,” she said. “I get to play two characters so it’s fun to get to play one person and be an evil character and then turn around and be super cute and bubbly and in love, so that is probably my favorite part.”

Martin, said he auditioned for the show because it was his first opportunity to do a big opera like “Magic Flute” at Murray State. The script gives him a chance to be more outrageous and fun as Papegeno, he said.

“I’ve grown through the rehearsal process; I’ve learned to be more creative,” he said. “You really have to dig in and be creative especially for these characters because the music is exactly what Mozart wrote and then the script, it’s a little bit different. It’s adapted for younger audiences so it’s a lot of creativity with some interesting language in the script.”

The show runs at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Performing Arts Hall located in Old Fine Arts.

Tickets for the show will be sold one hour before each performance and only cash and check will be accepted. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children under 12 and $15 maximum for families with multiple children.

For more information call 809-4288 or email cmitchell1@­­

Story by Dominique Duarte, Staff writer.