One of Mozart’s crowning achievements, The Magic Flute is a potent alchemical mixture of popular music and theater with a depth of meaning that is still mysterious and controversial. The fact that Mozart had steeped himself in the music of Handel and Bach in the years leading up to the creation of The Magic Flute makes it also a personal testament to his admiration for their art.
This production combines an entirely new staging conception by stage director Dan Wallace Miller, with new dialogue by Karen Hartman, and with one of the reigning “Queens of the Night” in our time, Cyndia Sieden. Hear Mozart's beloved opera, conducted by Stephen Stubbs, performed in the Northwest’s first historically informed performance with a classical orchestra.
Performance Dates: Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 10 at 2 p.m.
Tamino Ross Hauck
Papageno Geoffrey Penar
Pamina Mary Feminear
The Queen of the Night Cyndia Sieden
Papagena Emma Grimsley
Sarastro Colin Ramsey
First lady Holly Boaz
Second Lady Celeste Godin
Third Lady Julia Benzinger
Monostatos Alasdair Elliott
Speaker of the temple Matthew Scollin
Three Spirits Denna Good-Mojab, Michelle Brettl, Margaret Boeckman
Tenor Priest Zach Finkelstein
Bass Priest Patrick Borror
Stephen Stubbs, conductor
After a thirty year career in Europe, musical director and lutenist Stephen Stubbs returned to his native Seattle in 2006. Since then he has established his new production company, Pacific Musicworks, and developed a busy calendar as a guest conductor specializing in baroque opera and oratorio.
With his direction of Stefano Landi’s La Morte d’Orfeo at the 1987 Bruges festival, he began his career as opera director and founded the ensemble Tragicomedia. Since 1997 Stephen has co-directed the bi-annual Boston Early Music Festival opera and is the permanent artistic co-director. BEMF’s recordings of Conradi’s Ariadne, Lully’s Thesee, and Psyché were nominated for Grammy awards in 2005, 2007, and 2009.
Stephen was born in Seattle, Washington, where he studied composition, piano and harpsichord at the University of Washington. In 1974 he moved to England to study lute with Robert Spencer and then to Amsterdam for further study with Toyohiko Satoh and soon became a mainstay of the burgeoning early-music movement there, working with Alan Curtis on Italian opera in Italy, William Christie on French opera in France and various ensembles in England and Germany particularly the Hilliard Ensemble.
With his return to Seattle in 2006 he formed the long-term goal of establishing a company devoted to the study and production of Baroque opera. His first venture in this direction was the creation of the Accademia de’Amore, an annual summer institute for the training of pre-professional singers and musicians in baroque style and stagecraft, now housed at the Cornish College of the Arts.
In 2008 he established Pacific MusicWorks. The company’s inaugural presentation was a revival of South African artist William Kentridge’s acclaimed multimedia marionette staging of Claudio Monteverdi’s penultimate opera The Return of Ulysses in a co-production with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. After a warmly received 2010 presentation of Monteverdi’s monumental Vespers of 1610 at Seattle’s St. James Cathedral, PMW presented a full subscription season, opening with a program based on the Song of Songs and ending with two triumphantly successful performances of Handel’s early masterpiece, The Triumph of Time (1707).
As a guest conductor Stubbs has led performances of Gluck’s Orfeo and Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto in Bilbao, Spain, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo at Amsterdam’s Netherlands Opera. Following his successful debut conducting the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 2011, he was invited back in 2012 to conduct the Symphony’s performances of Messiah. He will also debut with the Edmonton Symphony in Messiah this season.
Stephen Stubbs is Senior Artist in Residence and member of the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Washington.
Mr Stubbs is represented by Schwalbe and Partners.
Dan Wallace Miller, director
Dan Wallace Miller is the founder and Artistic Director of Vespertine Opera Theater, a Seattle-based 501(c)(3) non-profit company that strives to present operas in unique spaces that are both innovative and dramatically engaging. He and his company have produced Purcell’s Dido and Aeneasand Holst’s Savitri in the University of Washington’s outdoor Sylvan Grove Theater, an English version of Francis Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine in the intimate blackbox Stone Soup Theater, and Puccini’s La Bohéme in the three-quarters round at the Chapel Performance Space in the Good Shepherd Center. Most recently, he is directing and producing the US premier of Benjamin Britten’s English, two-piano adaptation of Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias at the Columbia City Theater. In addition to his work with Vespertine Opera Theater, Dan Wallace Miller has worked at Seattle Opera for their productions of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen and Trisan und Isolde, Verdi’s Atilla, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program productions of Massenet’s Werther and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. Dan Wallace Miller graduated from the University of Washington, and assisted their production of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, as well as their Opera Scene Workshop.
Cyndia Sieden, soprano
American soprano Cyndia Sieden moves easily among the Baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary repertoires to worldwide acclaim. In addition, her performances and recordings of his works affirm her status as one of the sovereign Mozart interpreters of the present day.
Highlights of 2011 included performances in Morton Feldman's monodrama Neither for New York City Opera, Ariadne in Wolfgang Rihm's Dionysos at the Netherlands Opera and Soprano I in Luigi Nono's Prometeo at the Salzburg and Berlin Festivals. In contrast to these knotty modern works, she returned to Blondchen in Mozart's Abduction with Frans Brüggen and the Orchestra of the 18th Century at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and on tour throughout Holland.
Sieden has starred at most of the world's great opera houses, including the Munich Bayerische Staatsoper, the New York Met, Paris's Opéra Bastille, the Wiener Staatsoper, Barcelona's Gran Teatre de Liceu, Brussels's La Monnaie, and London's Covent Garden and English National, as well as in Beijing and Australia. Her highly-praised Metropolitan Opera debut was as Berg's Lulu, and her success quickly led to reengagement in 2008 for Die Zauberflöte's Queen of the Night, one of her signature roles.
She is a brilliantly idiomatic interpreter of the works of Richard Strauss. She frequently performs Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (Munich, Japan, Vienna), as well as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier (Paris Châtelet) and Aminta in Die schweigsame Frau (Palermo and Munich).
Her performances in the high-flying role of Ariel in the premiere of Thomas Adès's The Tempest at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, ignited rave reviews and an astonished public. She has garnered equal enthusiasm and devotion for her Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, all over the world. Other specialties are Cunegonde in Leonard Bernstein's Candide, and the operas of Handel.
Sieden is much in demand for Orff's Carmina Burana, the oratorios and masses of Handel, Mozart, and Haydn, and works of Bach, Strauss and Mahler. She has sung with many of the most renowned symphony orchestras in the world, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival. In addition, her Lieder recitals are always highly-anticipated events.
Cyndia Sieden was born in California, USA, and received her first vocal instruction there. The significant milestone in her studies was work with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in master classes in Carmel Valley, CA in 1982. Schwarzkopf then invited Sieden to become her private student, and also to work with her in master classes at the 1983 Salzburg Mozarteum. Sieden sang in the culminating concert/competition and won first place, the springboard for her first professional engagements.
In 1984, Cyndia Sieden made her European debut in Il Barbiere at the Bavarian State Opera; her American debut also took place in 1984, in La Fille du Regiment, in Tampa, Florida.