Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” brings opera back to Chico performances


Tamino (Mickensie Layson) kneels in fear of the Queen of the Night (Kaila Davidson). Photo credit: Natalie Hanson

Natalie Hanson

After 12 years, Chico State had its first opera comeback with performances of “The Magic Flute” this weekend.

The opera, a fantasy comedy-drama composed by Mozart, was performed in Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center. It ran with two performances on Friday and Saturday each at 7:30 p.m.

With all words in English, from the traditional German version, the popular Mozart opera featured vocal students and faculty from the music department.

Three Women
The three brides (Regina Mitchell, Erin Haley, Holly Taylor) look on with gifts as Papegeno (Valdis Birznieks) argues with Tamino (Mickensie Layson). Photo credit: Natalie Hanson

The story follows the quest of Tamino (Mickensie Layson), accompanied by his bird-catching comic sidekick Papageno (Valdis Birznieks), to save Pamina (Anna Wiley), the daughter of the evil Queen of the Night (Kaila Davidson), and prove to the king Sarastro (Jacob Picard) that he is worthy of her love.

Leads Tamino (Mickensie Layson) and Pamina (Anna Wiley) are pushed apart by a jealous suitor (Bryce Hall), while Sarastro (Jacob Picard) looks on. Photo credit: Natalie Hanson

The opera is perhaps best known for the aria of the Queen of the Night, “Der Hölle Rache” in its second act, sung by Kaila Davidson.

Various students and faculty members, including some who perform in the Town Quartet, comprised the orchestra for this special event. Members of the University Chorus also joined during certain selections for an accompaniment of the lead singers.

Natalie Hanson can be reached at [email protected] or @NatalieH_Orion on Twitter.