NAU Opera enchants with ‘The Magic Flute’

Opera Flute

NAU Opera will perform Mozart’sThe Magic Flute at 7:30 p.m. April 2 and 3 and 2 p.m. April 4 at NAU’s Ardrey Memorial Auditorium.

The production, directed by Nando Schellen and conducted by Nicholas Ross, will feature NAU soloists, an NAU opera chorus and the NAU Symphony Orchestra.

“Mozart’s music is always related to human relationships,” Schellen said. “To me, the opera says you need to grow to get what you want, be purified and balanced to achieve your goal.”

The opera contains 15 soloist roles that are double-cast with NAU students. The Queen of the Night is performed by Kai Xin Tay and Austen Eames; Tamino by Roland Mills and Jeff Strand, Papageno by Toby Kidd and Daniel Kwast, Pamina by Sandra Flores and Staci Dickens, and Sarastro by Scott Ballantine and Jared Levin.

“Opera is the art form that uses the voice to express feelings and drama more than any other dramatic art,” Schellen said. “It is very difficult for students to learn how to do that, as well as do it in the German language, but we have one of the best singer ensembles in the West.”

Written in 1791, The Magic Flute can be considered a modern fairy tale. The story focuses on Prince Tamino, who falls in love with Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night, and on the humble bird catcher, Papageno. Pamina has been kidnapped and lives in the palace of Sarastro, ruler of the sun.

This is Schellen’s fourth time directing The Magic Flute.

“Each time I discover something new,” he said.  “I encourage my singers to come up with their own ideas.”

The NAU production has modern staging, placing the characters closer to the audience and the story in the present.

The performance will be in German with English supertitles. Pre-performance lectures will begin at 6:45 p.m. on April 2 and 3 and at 1:15 p.m. April 4.

Tickets are $10 for students, faculty and staff; $18 for seniors; and $22.50 for community members.  Groups of four or more will receive a discount. Call (928) 523-5661 or (888) 520-7214, visit, or go to the Central Ticketing Office in the University Union