Magazine article Opera Canada

Saskatoon

Magazine article Opera Canada

Saskatoon

Article excerpt

Saskatoon Opera's premiere of Mozart's Die Zauberflote (Jun. 14) was the highlight of the 35th season of this irrepressible company. This Zauberflote inspired fine performances from some of Canada's rising young artists, while its stylistic contrasts and technical demands posed challenges.

At the outset, muddy accompaniment elicited more vocal strain than dramatic storm wicl stress from tenor Christopher Enns, who later found an attractive warmth of tone. Gordon Bintner's comic shtick as Papageno did not obscure the vibrancy of his singing. With its attendant squadron of little Papagenos and Papagenas (members of the Saskatoon Children's Choir), his stammering duet with Courtney Atkins (Papagena) was charming.

This Zaubetflote became most watchable when singing prevailed over acting. The Three Ladies (Johane Arisen, Laurelle Froese and Alicia Woynarslci) sang with lilt and momentum. The vocal agility, style and passion of Ambur Braid's Queen of the Night were the more impressive for the contorted moves assigned to her. Pamina (Lida Szkwarek) rewarded the listener with the musicality and beauty of her singing; she performed with genuineness of expression, breathtakingly so in "Ach, ich fuhls

Other roles held simpler demands. joanathan MacArthur's impish Monos-tatos and his black-suited crew drew the loudest laughter of the evening. Matthew Pauls brought poise to the role of the Speaker, and sang magnificently with tenor Philip Klaassen in the chorale of the two Guards. …

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