Mid Wales Opera Unveils The Magic Flute in Newtown

Love is in the air tonight at The Hafren, Newtown (17th February) as Mid Wales Opera unveils its brand new production of Mozart’s much-loved masterpiece The Magic Flute.

There’s a handsome Prince (Tamino) in search of a Princess in peril (Pamina), a feathery fellow seeking his bird-lady love, a Queen and a Wizard of varying degrees of wickedness and even a dragon to add to the mix.

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Following a week of rehearsal in the Newtown theatre, this upbeat and pantomime focussed production opens on Friday before setting off on tour across Wales.

We caught up with Frederick Long, who plays the Prince Tamino’s hapless helper Papageno the bird catcher, to check out who he feels to be taking to the stage armed with his bird cages and orange feather trousers: “Papageno’s a really intriguing character”, Frederick told us.

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“In some ways he is very much the comic relief, very straightforward and all he desires in life a food, drink and sex – people can identify with that I am sure. He’s a lovable scaredy cat but the great thing about Papageno is he breaks all the rules and still gets his girl – which is reassuring news all round.”

Papageno’s lovely lady Papagena played by Laura Ruhi Vidal, has a long wait to get her man, but she told us:”It is worth it in the end. Papagena is great fun. She does lots of jumping, dancing and singing and is so excited when she finally gets to meet her Papageno.” Pic…

The Magic Flute is the first production for Mid Wales Opera by the new Artistic Directors Jonathan Lyness and Richard Studer, and has been deliberately designed to be family friendly, sung in English and with plenty of giddy frivolity liberally sprinkled through the show.

It’s a great opera for beginners and anyone over seven, but there’s also plenty for the connoisseur to discover with our stellar cast mixing up and coming stars with more experienced performers.

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There are still a few tickets left – call the box office on 01686 614555 or book online at www.thehafren.co.uk or catch the show on tour:

Aberystwyth Arts Centre on 7th March
Pontardawe Arts Centre 9th March
Pontio Bangor on the 26th April
The Riverfront, Newport 4th May.

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