Conductor Daniel Brier of Opera Wilmington explains the art of opera and the lasting appeal of “The Magic Flute”


WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – After a two year hiatus due to COVID, Opera Wilmington is returning to perform their summer opera: “The Magic Flute” by Mozart. The opera’s conductor Daniel Brier came to the studio to talk about the upcoming performance.

“It’s one of these operas that is beloved by many, and many people know the name The Magic Flute, but it is a great opera because the music is fantastic,” said Brier. “There are a few main characters: there’s Tamino, who’s the prince, and then there’s Pamina who’s a girl he falls in love with. As in most operas, [this] love happens at first sight of a picture this time. And it’s immediate; there’s no time to get through this whole plot, so they immediately fall in love, and he has to win her love through a series of trials.”

The Magic Flute is a German Singspiel, meaning it features both spoken dialogue and singing, not too different from American musical theatre. The acting will be in English while the singing is in German with supertitles to translate the dialogue.

Like many operas before it, The Magic Flute will feature performers acting and singing without microphones.

“One of the pleasures of working with great opera singers is they’ve learned to use their human voice to project above an entire orchestra and it’s really a remarkable thing. You can sit in the very back of the auditorium and still hear perfectly as if you’re in the front.”

Though opera can seem to be an intimidating form of storytelling, Brier says the performances aren’t incoherent.

“It’s actually quite an experience. You have the visual arts, because you have costuming that’s created by our wonderful Mark Sorensen, you have an beautiful incredible set that’s built by Max. You have acting, you have singing, you have the musicians in the pit playing their instruments. So you have all the art forms put together in this really unique way. My advice is always to just come, sit back and enjoy.”

The performances will take place at the Mainstage Theatre in the UNCW Cultural Arts Building, and tickets can be purchased at the Kenan Box Office or online. You can learn more about Opera Wilmington on their website. The opera will be performed at the following dates and times:

  • Friday, July 22 at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 24 at 3 p.m.
  • Friday, July 29 at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 31 at 3 p.m.

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