Chilliwack treated to The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute conducted by Paula De Wit, Musical Director CSO and COT, and directed by Andrea Mellis, a Chilliwack secondary graduate.

Chilliwack Opera Troupe and Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus present The Magic Flute by W.A. Mozart

Get ready for a fairytale-like opera in two acts featuring a handsome prince, and a magic flute that turns sorrow into joy.

Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and the Chilliwack Opera Troupe present The Magic Flute by W.A. Mozart, opening Sept. 25 at the Cultural Centre.

Rehearsals have been ongoing for weeks. It’s shaping up to be a truly international run, with a talented cast of young Canadian singers as well as two Austrian singers.

The Magic Flute will be conducted by Paula De Wit, Musical Director of the CSO and COT, and directed by Andrea Mellis, a Chilliwack secondary graduate.

Mellis has been performing as a professional singer for 40 years, and has been in the director’s chair for plays, operas and musicals across Europe and Asia. Coming back to the city where she went to high school to mount an operatic production like this is a pure act of love.

“I have been associated with this opera for a long time. It’s a piece I’ve thought about for years and years,” she said. “It’s time to give back.”

The Magic Flute features spoken dialogue as well as musical numbers, and the piece was adapted by Ron Hannah for a smaller orchestra.

There are 10 Magic Flute soloists, a chorus of 12, and an orchestra of 14 ready to dazzle the crowds.

The special appearance of traditional masks worn by young performers in the show were designed and created by local aboriginal artists, in collaboration with Sto:lo Nation.

“It was important to make a production that has a relevance to the people living in Chilliwack,” she told The Progress.

They went looking for relevant imagery and found connections with Sto:lo stories about two-headed serpents as protectors, as well as the importance of twins.

It dovetailed with the 18th century themes that juxtaposed enlightenment through nature, versus the darkness of ignorance and superstition.

Being a former resident, Mellis also knew Chilliwack has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to vocal talent, and artists in general.

“It’s nurtured in every format, but not opera for some reason. For that singers have to go to Vancouver and beyond.”

Mellis connected creatively with CSO’s De Wit a couple of years ago to talk about the potential of a show.

So passionate was Mellis about the idea of mounting this opera here that she invested $20,000 of her own money to get the wheels turning.

And here they are.

CSO director Paula De Wit said to tell the people of Chilliwack they simply “don’t want to miss” this opera.

“It’s such an honour to bring such wonderful classic like the Magic Flute to our community,” she said. “It’s exciting to be a part of an emerging artist program that allows local, national and international singers an opportunity to show case their amazing gifts.

“It’s been thrilling to be able to collaborate with someone as gifted as Andrea Mellis. My life has been enriched because of this music experience.”

The production of Magic Flute has allowed them to also launch an Emerging Artists’ Program with funding for a few Canadian opera singers, particularly those from the Fraser Valley.

Potential sponsors were offered the chance to fund a specific aspect of the production.

“The Chilliwack Opera Troupe is one of the very few organizations in Canada who are willing to give Canadian emerging artists paid work, and I think this is something that Chilliwack can be very proud of,” Mellis explained.

Rehearsals started in earnest in early August.

“The last rehearsals will be spent polishing. There are some magnificent voices in the ensemble, so I welcome people to come and have a really good time. It’s sublime music,” said Mellis.

Magic Flute by Chilliwack Opera Troupe with CSO at the Cultural Centre, tickets $25/15, Sept. 25, 27, 28. Showtimes 7 p.m. except the Sunday, Sept. 28 show, which is at 3 p.m.

 

Just Posted

Dinosaurs will reign at Sto:lo Children’s Festival

Jurassic Park theme takes over long-standing, free community event

Funding for new Chilliwack schools could drive up development costs

School Site Acquisition Costs could dramatically increase by almost 30 per cent

Chilliwack developer offering to build barn owl nesting boxes for free

Gore Brothers says anyone with a suitable building can help the threatened raptor

Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge construction could start in 2021, MLA says

The project is expected to cost substantially more than budgeted in 2017

VIDEO: Cars on Campus in Chilliwack

Photos of this year’s Fraser Valley British Motor Club’s annual vintage car show in Chilliwack

‘This is unbelievable:’ Raptors dazzled by massive crowds at downtown Toronto parade

Mayor John Tory declares it ‘We The North Day’ after team’s historic NBA title win

Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

BC Ferries adds extra and late night summer sailings

Seasonal adjustments to sailing times also in effect on many routes

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

Parents of B.C. murder victim want her personal belongings back

Lisa Dudley’s parents, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, were at the Mission RCMP detachment Sunday

Most Read