Children and adults alike will be enchanted by Lyric Unlimited's upcoming family presentation, The Magic Victrola on Saturday, January 17 at 3pm.
This one-afternoon-only event is a delightful way for children to learn about the joys of opera. The production is specifically designed for children ages 5 to 10, but people of all ages will enjoy this brand-new story brought to life by the Lyric Opera Orchestra and singers from Lyric's own Ryan Opera Center.
Caroline Heffernan and Logan Neuschaefer play Gracie and Sam, two children who are staying with their grandfather (Richard Henzel) for the summer. Though they initially worry they might be bored, they discover their grandfather's collection of opera records in the attic, along with an old-fashioned Victrola player that has magical qualities. When they put on the first record, the bird catcher Papageno (Ryan Opera Center baritone Will Liverman) from Mozart's The Magic Flute appears and encourages Gracie and Sam to play more records, which causes each famous opera scene to magically come to life in colorful vignettes.
Curious about how the story and the music make it to the stage? Read this interview with Lyric's production design director Scott Marr and props coordinator Maria da Fabo, who designed the sets and costumes for this presentation.
The rumors are true! Kid-friendly snacks will be sold in the foyer and you can even take them with you to enjoy in the theater.
The Magic Victrola is filled with operatic favorites. If you want to introduce your children to the music before they come, here are some video excerpts!
Overture from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro
The Magic Victrola opens with one of the most famous overtures in opera: Mozart's delightful opening to The Marriage of Figaro.
"Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja" from Mozart's The Magic Flute
Papageno sings about his happy life as a birdcatcher.
The Doll Song from Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann
Olympia the doll sings a song, but she occasionally needs to be wound up so she can keep going!
"Quanto è bella" from Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore
This aria has a man singing about the beautiful woman he loves.
The Flower Duet from Delibes's Lakmé
This duet is about all of the wonderful things found in nature.
"O mio babbino caro" from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi
In this aria, a young woman asks for help from her father in a way that melts his heart. The title can be translated to "O my dear papa."
Habanera from Bizet's Carmen
This opera is set in Spain and this aria has a very catchy rhythm called the Habanera, which is a type of dance music.
Papageno Papagena Duet from Mozart's The Magic Flute
Papageno finally finds his perfect match: Papagena!
- Photos from The Family Barber, Lyric Unlimited's family presentation in the 2013-14 season (Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago)
(Lyric Opera of Chicago does not own copyrights to any of the above videos.)