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Friday, August 17, 2012

Hot ticket: Ravinia's Magic Flute

Posted By on 08.17.12 at 01:36 PM

Erika Miklosa
I don't know why Ravinia put this informal but outstanding "semi-staged" production of Mozart's The Magic Flute in the 850-seat Martin Theatre instead of the big open Pavilion, but the effect, Thursday night, was akin to getting a visit from the Met to your living room.

And I don't mean on TV.

This is an intimate experience of grand-opera-house performance, minus the sets and costumes. There's a clever narrative by actor John de Lancie to steer you through the convoluted plot, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Conlon, the CSO chorus, and—to mention just a few of many memorable performances—bass Morris Robinson as a magnificent Sarastro, soprano Erika Miklosa as the glamorously malign Queen of the Night, tenor Alex Mansoori as a nasty Monostatos, and golden-voiced Ryan training center alum Rene Barbera, who stepped into the lead role of Prince Tamino as a substitute too late to even appear on the program. Some reserved seats were still available this morning for a second performance, at 1 PM Saturday, August 18, in the Martin, on the Festival grounds in Highland Park. Tickets are $80. (Lawn tickets are $10; kids under 16 are free on the lawn, but that will be a different experience). Call 847-266-5100, or go to ravinia.org.

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