Junior Cody Perk said opera is a lot more fun than a typical college student might expect.
“It’s not just the fat lady singing really high notes for three hours,” Perk said. “It has a lot of dialogue — almost as much as it does singing — so it’s not just endless singing.”
Perk is part of the University of South Dakota Opera, which will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in Colton Recital Hall in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. Admission to “The Magic Flute” is $5 at the door.
“The Magic Flute” tells the story of a princess whose father stole her from her mother and the mother’s search to find her daughter. Senior Amanda Rich, who plays the role of the princess, Pamina, said the entire opera consists of Pamina trying to find her true love while she helps the man sent to find her also find his true love.
“It’s a big love story with lots of twists and turns along the way,” Rich said.
Senior Ashley Evelyn Mazur, who plays the third lady, said “The Magic Flute” is a fun opera that all people can enjoy.
“It has a lot of magical elements,” Mazur said. “It has a lot of humor and I think students will be surprised by how much fun they’ll have.”
For those who are unfamiliar with opera, Rich said it is like a musical but has a different type of singing.
“It’s more classical than the modern type of singing that’s in a musical,” Rich said.
Because the original version of “The Magic Flute” is three hours long and in German, the USD Opera is doing an abridged version in English.
“We cut a bunch of scenes out so it ends up being just over an hour long,” Rich said. “It was important to keep all of the main scenes, especially the love triangle, intact.”
Rich said if students have never attended an opera, they should give “The Magic Flute” a chance.
“It’s a really good experience to become more cultured,” Rich said. “It’s also really entertaining and I think the opera is just as much fun as a musical.”
While the opera entertains the audience, Mazur said it helps the performers grow.
“Being in an opera gives us a chance to grow artistically,” Mazur said. “I just love the expression of it.”
The music itself is Perk’s favorite part of “The Magic Flute,” he said.
“Mozart is just really good and makes for easy listening,” Perk said. “It’s definitely not easy singing, but he writes nice harmonies that are delightful to listen to. It’s just perfect music.”
Perk said he encourages students to come see “The Magic Flute” because it is a lot of fun for both the performers and the audience.
“It’ll broaden their horizons,” Perk said. “It’s just good entertainment.”
Reach reporter Kayla Prasek at Kayla.M.Prasek@usd.edu.