Opera and Musical Theatre

The Opera/Music Theatre Program provides an encouraging atmosphere for all who have an interest in performing music theatre on the stage. Music and Theatre majors participate in the program.  There are full productions of standard and newer shows each year and a training workshop each semester.  Applied Music majors take classes in the core curriculum and then address this Concentration with ensembles and electives that relate to opera, music theatre and language/diction.  Private vocal instruction is an important component of this program. 

Quantum Opera Theatre was created by Dr. Lynne Morrow to produce SSU student music theatre, workshop new music theatre in the summer and bring composers and professional singers to campus to work with students. 



Co-produced by the Departments of Music and Theatre Arts & Dance
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
Music Direction by Lynne Morrow; Stage Direction by Amanda McTigue

February 23-March 5, 2017 in Evert B. Person Theatre



8/25-27 Audition Sign Ups –CLICK HERE


We are welcomed into a world of global storytelling whose characters reflect diverse eras and cultures. A prince, Tamino, is attacked by a giant serpent. Three Devis (goddesses), servants of the Queen of the Night, come to his rescue. He faints. They lust for him, fighting over who might win his heart as they exit. 

Meanwhile, Papageno, a lowly bird-catcher, tries to trap songbirds for the Queen in return for some of her figs. He's not very good at it, hampered by the fact that he can't stop thinking about how to get a girlfriend. 

He comes upon Tamino, and boasts that it was he who killed the serpent. The Devis return incensed. They padlock Papageno’s mouth for lying. Then they hand Tamino a gift from the Queen: a portrait of her daughter, Pamina. One look, and Tamino falls in love.

Within seconds, the Queen appears to make Tamino a proposition. She tells him that her daughter has been kidnapped by the "evil" king Sarastro. She promises Tamino rich rewards if he will save Pamina.

The Devis release Papageno from his padlock. Then they give Tamino a magic flute whose sound inspires peace. Papageno gets a set of magic bells that are supposed to "deter disaster." The Devis tell the heroes (though Papageno is more of an anti-hero) to look for Die Spieler, three playful spirits who will help them find their way. Thus equipped, Tamino and Papageno set off to rescue Pamina. 

In another corner of the world, Sarastro's wicked servant Monsostatos, threatens his captive, Pamina. Papageno comes upon the two of them and accidentally scares Monostatos off. Pamina and Papageno become instant friends. He complains about having no luck in the find-a-girlfriend department. Together they think about what friendship and love might mean. 

Tamino, meanwhile, is searching for Sarastro, led by Die Spieler. They guide him to the portal of Sarastro's world guarded by the Holy Ones, representatives of various religions. Tamino's ready to do battle. The Holy Ones suggest that he take a deep breath, that Sarastro is not what the Queen says he is. They advise Tamino to pursue his own growth by meeting a series of challenges.

Desperate to find Pamina, Tamino pulls out his magic flute and plays it, hoping to attract her. Instead, he summons all the animals of the world, charming them with his music.

Pamina and Papageno search for him nearby, but they’re just out of earshot. Monostatos intercepts them, threatening to enslave them both. That’s when Papageno pulls out his magic bells. He manages to charm Monostatos and his minions for a quick get-away. Once again, Pamina and Papageno take a moment to consider how powerful music can be as an agent of peace, friendship and love. 

Sarastro and his royal retinue come upon Pamina and Papageno who’s convinced he’s about to die. Pamina pleads her case, outing Monostatos for his evil ways. But Sarastro is way ahead of her. He says that sending her home to her mother would not be wise for reasons he can’t yet explain. Besides, he says, a special someone is looking for her...

Monostatos rushes in having captured Tamino. Pamina takes one look at him, and he at her: true love! Monostatos expects a reward from Sarastro; instead he is given forty lashes. Act One ends with a collective expression of praise for light, for love and for divine grace. In the last measures, Sarastro sheds his kingly garb for the robes of a monk.


Sarastro sets the tone of Act Two by gathering his people in prayer. Over the course of the events to come, Tamino and Pamina are to undergo a series of character-building tests, guided (even, sometimes, misguided) by the Holy Ones, Die Spieler and the Devis. Papageno too will have to face his own challenges in his own way.

For their first trial, the Holy Ones tell Tamino and Papageno that they must maintain absolute silence no matter what comes. Papageno immediately breaks the rule by engaging with the Devis. They try to tempt the heroes away from Sarastro, back into the schemes of the Queen of the Night. 

Meanwhile, in yet another corner of the world, Monostatos has managed to get his hands back on Pamina. He threatens to avenge Sarastro's humiliating treatment by having his way with her. That's when her mother, the Queen, swoops in, enraged at—not Monostatos, but Sarastro. She calls on her daughter to murder Sarastro on her behalf. Then she disappears, leaving Pamina once again in Monostatos's clutches.

But Sarastro arrives to save her. He banishes Monostatos to bond with Pamina. As misused as she has been by her mother, Pamina still asks Sarastro to forgive the Queen. He in turn pleads for the dissolution of hate. Both join in the project of peace. 

Papageno, wandering on his own and chattering despite being sworn to silence, encounters a flirtatious old woman. He has an inkling that she might be his true love--whom he calls Papagena--but she disappears before he can get her name. 

Die Spieler zoom in on a magic carpet to help guide Tamino. At their suggestion, he plays his magic flute and--voila!--this time, Pamina is summoned. She's over the moon to see him, but he will not speak to her, faithful to his oath of silence. Pamina goes to pieces at his perceived indifference, heart broken.

But here comes Sarastro, praising them both. They enjoy a brief moment when Tamino is free to speak. Then the pair is introduced to a second trial: they must parted from each other. Pamina and Tamino exchange aching goodbyes mediated by Sarastro. 

Papageno continues idling. He plays his magic bells just to keep himself company. The flirtatious old woman reappears, and they make an agreement based on lies. He swears he will give himself to her (until a better girl comes along), at which point she reveals herself to be--Papagena!

Immediately Die Spieler whisk her away, chastising Papageno for being unworthy of love. They send him off to (literally) clean up his act. 

No sooner has he gone than Pamina staggers in suicidal at losing Tamino. Die Spieler talk her out of killing herself, promising that "true love cannot stay hidden.” 

Because she rallies, embracing the notions of faith and trust, Die Spieler lead her straight to Tamino. Now the two lovers face a third and final trial, one they will brave together, passing through fire and water side by side. 

But it's busy times for Die Spieler. Papageno is suicidal over the loss of his just-glimpsed girlfriend. They remind him to use his magic bells. Sure enough, Papagena reappears, and the two discover that they are, in fact, meant for each other, two peas in a pod, on their way to marriage, and a host of little Papagenos and Papagenas. 

The Queen of the Night, the Devis and Monostatos are on their way to wreak havoc with everyone when the giant serpent pops up one last time to swallow them whole.

In the end, all the characters of "The Magic Flute"--wise and foolish, mortal and divine, human and animal, living and even those marinating in a serpent's belly--all gather on the bank of the Ganges river to celebrate two marriages, and to commit to universal peace, friendship, and love. 


The opera, “The Magic Flute,” opened on September 30th, 1791. Its composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, conducted the orchestra that night. Onstage, singing the role of Papageno, was his librettist and partner in theater, Emanuel Schikaneder. These two innovators created "The Magic Flute" not for the aristocrats of the court, but for audiences that included "ordinary" people. It proved to be a blockbuster, performed one hundred times over the course of its first run alone. Tragically, Mozart did not live to see the end of that run. Only thirty-five years old, he died of unknown causes. "The Magic Flute" was the last opera he composed. Its on-going popularity with both opera- and theater-goers is as magical as the flute it celebrates, beloved for its blend of fantastical storytelling, appealing characters, scope (think Shakespeare), emotional range (from silly to wrenching) and, always, the exquisite beauty of its music. 


All roles are open to all ethnicities and cultural heritages. Some roles are open to male/female cross-casting of characters. There are opportunities for non-singing choral and puppetry casting as well.

Tamino, Prince (tenor)
Pamina, Daughter of the Queen of the Night (soprano)
Papageno, Bird-catcher (baritone)
Sarastro, King (very low bass)
Holy Ones, One or more singing roles, either female (mezzo-soprano) and/or male (baritone)

Queen of the Night, A distraught mother (very high soprano)
Monostatos, Servant who’s out for himself (tenor or high baritone)
The Devis, Trio of Goddesses (soprano, mezzo-soprano and alto--or counter tenor)

Die Spieler, Trio of Spirits (soprano, mezzo-soprano and alto--or counter tenor)
Papagena, Papageno’s true love (soprano)
Die Zauberei, Chorus of singers, male and female, multiple roles (all ranges)
The Wolf Gang, Group of actors for multiple, non-singing, non-speaking roles
The Serpent and The Animals, original puppets created and animated onstage by puppeteers (They do not need to audition; inquire about a related class.)

Prepare and memorize:

1.    One monologuenot to exceed 90 seconds 
2.    Two contrasting songs (at least one in English) not to exceed 3 minutes combined  
3.    Together, the monologue and song(s) should not be more than 5 min

Be sure to bring legible sheet music for the pianist/accompanist in a 3-ring binder that makes it easy for the pianist to turn pages

If you have not prepared either a monologue or songs, please come anyway. We’d love to see you! We can work out a way to get a feel for your interests, experience and skills. 


By appointment, see below:
Thursday, August 25, 6:00-10:30 pm, Person Theatre           
Friday, August 26, 6:00-10:30 pm, Person Theatre
Call-backs: Saturday, August 27, 10:00am - 7:00pm, Ives 101, 76 & 80               


8/25-27 Audition Sign Ups –CLICK HERE

Participation in the “The Magic Flute” will be credited as a class, MUS 330. Rehearsal times fall as indicated below on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and on one Saturday per month. For this production, only those rehearsing will be called, but the cast must be available for all the times listed below.

First Rehearsal: Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 7-10pm

Rehearsal Call Times, Fall Semester in GMC 1027 & 1028:
Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 7-10pm
Saturday, September 24, 10am-5pm
Saturday, October 29, 10am-5pm
Saturday, November 12, 10am-5pm
Saturday, December 3, 10am-5pm

Rehearsals resume: Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 7-10pm

Rehearsal Call Times, Spring Semester in Person Theatre:
Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 7-10pm
Saturday, January 28, 10am-5pm
Saturday, February 4, 10am- 5pm

Technical Rehearsals, Spring Semester:
Sitzprobe with orchestra, Thursday, February 16, 7-10pm
Technical rehearsal, Saturday, February 18, 10:30am-10:30pm
Technical rehearsal, Sunday, February 19, 10:30 am-10:30pm

Dress rehearsals:
Monday, February 20, 6:30pm-11pm
Tuesday, February 21, 6:30pm-11pm
Wednesday, February 22, 6:30pm-11pm
Thursday, February 23, 7:30pm OPENING
Friday, February 24, 7:30pm
Saturday, February 25, 7:30pm
Sunday, February 26, 5pm (with post-show discussion)

Tuesday, February 28, 7:30pm (brush-up rehearsal if needed)
Wednesday, March 1, 10am (matinee)
Thursday, March 2, 7:30pm (faculty/staff night)
Friday, March 3, 7:30pm
Saturday, March 4, 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 5, 2pm (CLOSING matinee with strike)

For More details and to Schdule an Audition CLICK HERE